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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 76, 77, 78 & 79 - Alcohol abuse [9838/06, 9841/06, 9839/06, 9840/06].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 76, 77, 78 & 79 - Alcohol abuse [9838/06, 9841/06, 9839/06, 9840/06]. (09 Mar 2006)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2...


76. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children , further to the recommendation referred to in Question No. 268 of 31 January 2006, that a group, representative of all stakeholders, be established to consider what useful information could be included on non-draft alcohol products, taking account of international evidence, if she will confirm the stage this process is currently at; if the foetal alcohol spectrum disorders lobbying sector has been or will be represented as stakeholders; and the name of the report referred to in her reply to the question. [9838/06]

79. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children if, in view of previous policy statements during the launch of the strategic task force on alcohol in September 2004, the issues of alcohol and pregnancy and lifelong foetal alcohol spectrum disorders have been included in both the high risk and under-age drinking areas of interest in the three-category remit for the consideration of the working group on alcohol. [9841/06]

Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Mr. S. Power)
 
I propose to take Questions Nos. 76 and 79 together.

The terms of reference of the working group on alcohol established under the special initiative of Sustaining Progress are as follows. The working group will develop a programme of action taking account in particular of the work of the strategic taskforce on alcohol. It will also seek to identify potential synergies between the responses to alcohol and drug misuse, taking account of the outcome of the mid-term review of the national drugs strategy.

In the first phase, the working group will seek to agree a programme of actions which can deliver targeted results on under-age drinking, binge drinking and drink driving. This should include specific targets, timeframes, resources and allocation of responsibilities. In this regard, the working group will examine the potential for the social partners to commit to specific actions as part of the overall approach. The working group will make a progress report to the steering group of Sustaining Progress by October 2005. It will also make proposals on its future work agenda.

Taking account of its terms of reference, the group agreed to consider the three areas of high risk drinking, under-age drinking and drink driving. The group reported at the end of 2005 and the issue of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders was not specifically considered. However, it is expected that the group to consider the issue of labelling, referred to in Question No. 268 of 31 January 2006, will be established this year and that all relevant stakeholders will be given an opportunity to contribute to the process.


77 Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the membership of the steering committee of the working group on alcohol and the number and proportion of whom have a vested interest or background in the drinks production or service industry. [9839/06]
 
78 Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children if it is her intention that the working group on alcohol will replace the strategic task force on alcohol or that, acting on the recommendations of the second report of the strategic task force on alcohol, that the working group on alcohol should offer supplementary advice at a more hands-on level in each sector. [9840/06]


Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Mr. S. Power)
 
I propose to take Questions Nos. 77 and 78 together.

The working group on alcohol was established under the special initiative on tackling alcohol and drug misuse in Sustaining Progress to help mobilise the stakeholders through social partnership to achieve a targeted and measurable reduction in alcohol misuse. While the original membership of the working group was as follows, some changes in the Department of Health and Children's representation will be necessary following the restructuring of the Department, for any future work programme: Mr. Peter Cassells, chair; Mr. Chris Fitzgerald, Department of Health and Children; Mr. John Weafer, Department of Transport; Mr. Declan Hayes, Department of Transport; Ms Carmel Madden, national drugs strategy team; chief superintendent Gerry Blake, the Garda Síochána; sergeant Orla Black, the Garda Síochána; Dr. Ann Hope, national alcohol policy adviser, Department of Health and Children; Ms Tracy O'Keeffe, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Dr. Declan Bedford, Health Service Executive; Mr. Seán Mackell, Irish Congress of Trade Unions; Dr. Joe Barry, Irish Congress of Trade Unions; Ms Rosemary Garth, IBEC; Mr. Michael Patten, IBEC; Mr. Michael Conroy, Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs; Mr. John Moloney, Department of Education and Science; Mr. Colm Markey, Macra na Feirme; Ms Mary Cunningham, National Youth Council of Ireland; Ms Norah Gibbons, Children's Rights Alliance; Mr. John Shaw, Department of the Taoiseach; and Ms Elaine Kelly, Department of the Taoiseach. Mr. Michael Patten is director of corporate affairs at Diageo Ireland and Ms Rosemary Garth is director of drinks, Food and Drinks Industry Ireland.

The group concentrated, in accordance with the terms of reference, on the potential for effectively mobilising State, social partner and other organisations around a programme of actions which would contribute to a reduction in alcohol related problems. The group stated that its report "complements the work of the strategic task force on alcohol" and "must be viewed as building on the reports of the STFA and not as a replacement to them".

Vol. 616 No. 3
Written Answers
Thursday, 9 March 2006

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