Call for Ir eland-wide drink clampdown

24 April, 2009

The Republic of Ireland is calling for a joint initiative with Northern Ireland to crack down on alcohol promotions.

Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern wrote to Northern Ireland's minister for social development Margaret Ritchie to discuss a country-wide venture to end volume-based offers.

He wrote: "I am conscious that the effectiveness of

actions taken

to curb such promotions could be reduced if

action is not taken on an island-wide basis."

The Republic of Ireland has already outlawed BOGOF deals and reduced the times when alcohol can be sold.

But in an emergency Budget last month, Eire decided not to hike drinks taxes

amid fears that a price increase would drive more people to buy cheaper alcohol in Northern Ireland.

Ahern said in his letter: "I would welcome an opportunity to discuss the possibility of a joint

north- south initiative to tackle alcohol promotions, especially the volume-based promotions which

are designed to increase the quantities sold and which, in some cases at least, result in excessive consumption of alcohol and various types of alcohol-related harm."

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