From today all Irish supermarkets and liquor stores will no longer be able to use price promotions on alcohol products, including those that include food.
This means no longer will we be able to enjoy a ‘two for one’ deal on the cheapest bottle of vodka.
Goals to reduce harmful drinking habits
The new regulation has been put in place in order to help the country cut ties with problem drinking. Health Minister Stephen Donnelly spoke out to praise the new move labelling it as:
Further progress toward our objective of reducing harmful drinking and the health harms of alcohol consumption in our country.
Donnelly continued that putting a halt to alcohol deals will help prevent youth and underage drinkers from being able to purchase booze:
One of the primary objectives of our Public Health (Alcohol) Act is to delay the initiation of alcohol consumption by children and young people. These regulations will ensure that price promotions which result in the sale of alcohol products at pocket money prices cannot continue.
Donnelly went on to explain that alcohol simply can’t be treated like any other grocery store product due to its potentially dangerous effects on our health and by cutting promotions Ireland may come one step closer to reducing harmful drinking:
The coming into force of these regulations is further progress toward our objective of reducing harmful drinking and the health harms of alcohol consumption in our country.
Ireland also considers an alcohol curfew
The banning of alcohol discounts isn’t the only bad news for booze lovers in Ireland as the government is also considering an alcohol curfew in order to prevent outdoor drinking during the lockdown.
Tanaiste Leo Varadkar spoke to Newstalk radio about the issue stating:
We're working on new public health regulations that strengthen the law in this regard around drinking alcohol in public streets, and that will give the Gardaí more powers of enforcement.
Varadkar continued to highlight that while it wasn’t illegal to sell takeaway pints, the actions were often being abused by punters and bar staff who would ‘serve a pint and put a lid on it’ instead of selling bottles or cans.
We don't want to have to shut down the off licenses or shut down the pubs and say 'you can't sell bottles of beer or you can't sell cans for people to take home.’
However, this isn’t the only problem with the takeaway alcohol issueas the option as prompted many drinkers to congregate with their friends outside despite lockdown rules. Varadkar explained that imposing a curfew would help make sure people stayed home:
What we could potentially do is ban the sale of all alcohol after a certain point of time in the day. It's that type of thing that we're looking at.