Cllr Michael Fitzgerald
Tipperary County Council has pledged unanimous support to the Tipperary Vintners Association in their bid to have minimum unit costs introduced to all alcohol products.
A very lengthy debate took place at the monthly meeting of the council this week in Nenagh following a deputation to the local authority from Mr Kieran Linnane of the Tipperary Vintners Association, and Mr Pat Kelleher of the National Off-Licence Association.
The council had previously expressed concern about the levels of cheap alcohol available in the county and the affect this is having on consumers, especially younger people. And, Mr Linnane reiterated their concerns stating that the selling of spirits and beer at such low costs is “scandalous and dangerous.”
“The way things are going it is going to kill our children,” he warned.
The demise of the public house was lamented during the course of the demand with members offering the view that people were drinking in a controlled environment – now, many are buying cheap alcohol and drinking to great excess at home.
Cllr Seamus Morris described those who take a drink and drive the following morning as being “treated like heroin dealers” by the Gardai, and added that Nenagh is “rotten with cocaine and heroin.”
Cllr Michael Fitzgerald also spoke of his experience of speaking out about these matters some years ago including describing the difference between drink driving and drunk driving – he was subjected to huge abuse, was suspended from the Fine Gael party and was ridiculed on many national radio and television programmes as a result. “Now, I'm hearing the same discussions here today,” he said.