Sinn Féin spokesperson on Law Reform, Equality and Integration, Pa Daly TD, has today welcomed the publication of the General Scheme of Sale of Alcohol Bill.
Teachta Daly said:
“The sale of alcohol is an area with deep and complex implications across economic, social and cultural policy. That we now have a heads of bill to examine is a positive development.
“This stems from the complex and in many places antiquated nature of current laws. The fact the government has committed to keep the sale of alcohol heavily regulated is important and a regulatory analysis must be carried out in some detail, in combination with a full scrutiny process.
“Already, there are some areas where the bill offers improvements. The standardisation of opening hours, the creation of annual permits to replace Exemption Orders and provisions to allow communities a greater say in renewals are progressive.
“The removal of the extinguishment requirement and the cultural amenity licence provides opportunities for these venues, especially in rural areas, to build a more vibrant nightlife. Alcohol free alternatives should be supported also.
“At the same time, the new bill needs to strike a balance between expanding the night time economy and ensuring other policy objectives are not undermined. Health, urban planning and environmental concerns will need to be examined alongside the passing of this bill.
“The work of the Night Time Economy taskforce, and that of Give Us The Night, should be saluted in this respect, and it will be borne in mind by Sinn Féin representatives as the bill progresses towards implementation.”