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Home > 1430. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he supports the steering group’s report on a National Substance Misuse Strategy... [19066/12]

[Oireachtas] 1430. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he supports the steering group’s report on a National Substance Misuse Strategy... [19066/12]. (18 Apr 2012)

URL: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20a...


1430. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he supports the steering group’s report on a National Substance Misuse Strategy; and if it will be supporting the implementation of its recommendations that drinks industry sponsorship of sporting events here should be phased out through legislation by 2016. [19066/12] 

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): I fully support the central aim of the strategy in reducing the level of alcohol consumption in Ireland. However, I have serious concerns that a legislative ban on sponsorship would have negative consequences for sport and tourism. There are huge economic, social and health benefits accruing from sport. From a health perspective alone, there are clearly significant benefits for individuals and for our health system in maintaining and increasing participation levels in sport. One of the goals of my Department is to contribute to a healthier and more active society by promoting sports participation. However, it is important that funding is available to sports organisations to ensure that sport is maintained at grassroots level so that as many people as possible can participate.
 
Also, it is my view that sport plays an important role in diverting young people away from alcohol. The financial support provided through sponsorship is integral to the availability of sport at grassroots level and I am concerned that placing constraints on the sporting organisations by eliminating the drinks industry as a source of sponsorship will have a negative impact on the development and availability of sport, particularly in the current economic climate. My Department will participate in the consultative process which will now take place on foot of the recommendations of the report.
 
Written Answers - National Substance Misuse Strategy
Vol. 761 No. 3
Wednesday, 18 April 2012

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