Fine Gael Kildare South TD Martin Heydon has today (Monday) said that he and his Fine Gael colleagues are working with Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy to seek solutions that would address concerns raised by many small retailers in Kildare South on proposals in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.

“This Bill is long overdue and includes many worthwhile provisions which will finally tackle the issue of Alcohol misuse in Ireland. Proposals such as minimum unit pricing, restrictions on advertising, marketing and health warnings on labels are all welcomed with an aim of reducing the alcohol consumption in Ireland to 9.1 litres per person per annum by 2020.

“As Chairman of the Parliamentary Party I have chaired two briefing sessions where Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has addressed the party and heard the views of the members. I am committed to addressing the issue of alcohol misuse and see this Bill as a major step in that direction.

“However I am concerned at the impact of one section of the proposed legislation regarding structural separation on the owners of small family run shops in South Kildare, many of whom I have visited in recent weeks.

“Following our last meeting Minister Corcoran Kennedy agreed to work with the members to seek solutions to this issue and I continue to liaise with her and other concerned members of the party in my role as Chairman to bring about a satisfactory solution.”