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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 127 & 143 - alcohol sales legislation [19046/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 127 & 143 - alcohol sales legislation [19046/15]. (14 May 2015)


127. Deputy Róisín Shortallasked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 208 of 28 April 2015, if she will request An Garda Síochána to carry out test purchases in respect of distance sales of alcohol, in order to ensure greater enforcement of the law relating to the prohibition of cash-on-delivery sales of alcohol products. [19046/15]

 

143. Deputy Róisín Shortallasked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will provide details on the number of prosecutions under section 17(3) of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003, in respect of distance sales of alcohol, in each of the past ten years. [19109/15]

 

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 127 and 143 together.

 

Section 14 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act, 2008 makes provision for the test purchasing of alcohol products. The primary objective of the scheme, which entered into force on 1 October 2010, is to enable An Garda Síochána to target those licensed premises which are suspected of engaging in illegal sales of alcohol to young people.

 

The Deputy will appreciate that it is a matter for the Garda authorities to decide the particular operational measures which may be put in place in relation to the Intoxicating Liquor Acts or indeed any legislation which confers an enforcement role on An Garda Síochána. I have however, brought the Deputy's concerns in relation to distance sales of alcohol to the attention of the Garda authorities. As the Deputy will be aware Gardaí have made significant use of the existing provisions in relation to test purchasing and I am advised that between 2010 and 2014 in excess of 1,500 such purchases were made.

 

In my reply of 28 April, referred to by the Deputy, I set out the legislative position in relation to distance sales and my intentions in relation to the Sale of Alcohol Bill. With regard to the number of prosecutions under section 17(3) of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003, the Garda Síochána Act 2005 makes provision for the compilation and publication of crime statistics by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), as the national statistical agency, and the CSO has established a dedicated unit for this purpose. I have requested the CSO to provide the available statistics directly to the Deputy.

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