Plans to force small retailers and corner shop owners to segregate alcohol products from other products under new legislation have been described as “a step too far” by Independent Deputy for Longford-Westmeath, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran.
Section 20 of the Public Health (Alcohol ) Bill instructs that alcohol be separated from the remainder of the premises by means of a physical barrier, through which alcohol products and advertising are not readily visible to members of the public.
Independent Alliance TDs held a robust meeting with Junior Health Minister, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, late last week to stress their opposition to this section of the Bill. While the Alliance is supportive of the Bill as a whole, it has demanded a change to this section. Deputy Moran described the insistence on segregation as being akin to a “nanny state” measure.
“This is being looked at from the wrong end. It needs to be looked at from the point of view of education. It is ridiculous that small retailers and corner shop owners are being expected to invest thousands in their businesses just to segregate alcohol products from other products,” Deputy Moran said.