Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has assured the Dáil that the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill will be dealt with this week, if it is possible.
TDs were informed on Tuesday morning that the controversial legislation, which includes measures on segregating alcohol sales in shops and placing health warnings on labels, had been withdrawn to allow for consideration of new amendments.
Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall expressed concern about the delay when final stages of the Bill were scheduled to be dealt with on Wednesday evening.
“This Bill has been under discussion for 1,000 days and that’s 6½ years since the first recommendations came, on this legislation.”
She said there were a “huge amount of spurious reasons for delaying the Bill, and a whole lot of tactics being used by various members here and in the Seanad as a result of the huge lobby being put on by the industry”.
“There are 14 members of this House who are continuing to engage in these delaying tactics and have all kinds of spurious amendments down,” she said.
Ms Shortall appealed to the Fine Gael, labour and Fianna Fáil leaders to “stop the game playing on this Bill”.
But Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl said “members are entitled to table whatever amendments they want” and that “we should be very careful about imputing ill intent to anyone who tables an amendment”.
Source: Marie O'Halloran, The Irish Times, 18/09/18