Home > Joint Committee on Justice debate. General Scheme of the Sale of Alcohol Bill 2022: Discussion (resumed).

[Oireachtas] Joint Committee on Justice debate. General Scheme of the Sale of Alcohol Bill 2022: Discussion (resumed). (31 Jan 2023)

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

Acting Chairman (Senator Barry Ward): We have received apologies from Deputy Patrick Costello. I remind members and witnesses to turn off their mobile phones as the signals can interfere with the recording mechanisms.

We are resuming pre-legislative scrutiny of the general scheme of the sale of alcohol Bill 2022. This the second hearing we have had on the subject. The previous meeting was held last week. The purpose of this meeting is to have an engagement with a number of stakeholders. I am very grateful to all of them for being with us today. From the Institute of Public Health, I welcome Dr. Helen McAvoy, director of policy, and Dr. Ciara Reynolds, public health development officer. From the Irish Community Action on Alcohol Network, I welcome Ms Marie Lawless, policy and research officer, and Ms Paula Leonard, national lead for community action on alcohol. From Alcohol Action Ireland, I welcome Dr. Sheila Gilheany, CEO, and Professor Frank Murray, chair. From the trade union Mandate, I welcome Mr. Gerry Light, general secretary, and Mr. Jim Fuery, divisional organiser. The chief executive officer of the National Transport Authority, NTA, Ms Anne Graham, is here also. As was the case last week, we are joined by officials from the Department of Justice. I welcome Ms Juliet Dwyer, principal officer, and Ms Patricia Butler and Ms Patricia O'Moore, assistant principal officers. I thank the witnesses for joining us.

Witnesses and members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not criticise or make charges against any person, persons or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable, or to engage otherwise in speech that might be regarded as damaging to the good name of the person or entity. Therefore, if their statements are potentially defamatory in relation to an identifiable person or entity, they will be directed to discontinue these remarks. It is imperative that they comply with any such direction. For witnesses attending remotely from outside the Leinster House campus there are some limitations to parliamentary privilege and as such they may not benefit from the same level of immunity from legal proceedings as a witness physically present does.

In the order in which they are seated, I will invite the witnesses to make their three-minute opening statements. Once all those statements have been delivered, I will call on members of the committee, in the order in which they have indicated to the Chair, to put their questions. We operate on a rota system which provides each member with an initial seven minutes to engage with the witnesses. It is important to note that the seven minutes include the question and the answer. We ask witnesses to be as succinct and brief in their responses as they can. When all members who have indicated have had their initial opportunity to engage with the witnesses, there may be a second round, if time allows, with up to three minutes for both questions and answers for each member. Please note that the duration of this meeting is limited and the times must be strictly adhered to. I ask everyone to be focused in their contributions.

I invite Dr. McAvoy to make her opening statement on behalf of the Institute of Public Health.

[For the full debate, click this link to the Oireachtas website]

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