Government’s troubled alcohol strategy

Oh, the joys of the Freedom of Information Act. It only took six months to get my response from the Department of Health. It’s supposed to take 20 days apparently. And most of the juicier stuff was refused, thanks to a blanket ban on anything that goes – or might go – to the Government.

But there were a few nuggets in what I got. The first gave a flavour of the extent to which certain government departments lobbied a Government expert group on alcohol against plans to end sponsorship of sports and other large public events by the drinks industry. See

Sponsorship is the biggest stickler in the Government’s forthcoming ‘action plan’ on alcohol. That plan was supposed to be published before the end of the summer, then by September. Now, it’s before the end of the year. That will come a full three years after the Government committee first sat to address this issue. Into the mix, came the recent, and sudden, resignation of Roisin Shortall, the minister of state who personally – and passionately – drove the alcohol strategy.

With Roisin Shortall’s exit, where now for action plan?

The next nugget in the FoI material contained the views of different Government departments towards an alcohol awareness association funded by the drinks’ industry. One dept said it and a body representing drinks’ suppliers and manufacturers tried to ‘undermine’ the final report of the committee. Another dept heaped praise on the awareness group.

The third story in today’s Irish Examiner is the response from the two drinks’ industry groups.


About Cormac O'Keeffe

I've written a novel. And, it's going to be published. This April. Mad, or what? It's entitled 'Black Water' and is a crime novel set in Dublin's gangland, along the evocative Grand Canal. This blog is about that bumpy journey, which is about to get really exciting. You'll also find some photography on this blog, particularly snaps that relate to my novel, much of it centred along the canal. There are also some reviews, both fiction and non-fiction, many of them published in the Irish Examiner, a daily national newspaper in Ireland. I work as security correspondent there and have specialist interests in crime, drugs, policing, the justice system, communities and human rights. Both my personal life and my professional life have fed into my novel, or, rather, have been poured into it. My novel was granted a literature bursary by the Irish Arts Council in September 2014 and my journalistic work has won multiple awards from the Law Society of Ireland over many years, most recently in 2015.
This entry was posted in Drug Reporting and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Government’s troubled alcohol strategy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s