Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has backed a call for the Government to consider an exemption for small shops from the introduction of new regulations governing the sale of alcohol.
Proposed legislation will prohibit the sale of alcohol alongside other products and shop owners will be obliged to physically separate the area where alcohol is sold from areas where other products are sold.
“I appreciate that the proposal is part of a wider strategy to reduce the negative impact of alcohol, but it will have a disproportionate effect on the owners of small family shops all over the country. This legislation is intended largely for the big supermarkets and the owners of small shops should not be put at an unfair disadvantage because of it,” Deputy Carey said.
”In Clare alone, dozens of family stores would face considerable expense for minimal return. While the issue of alcohol abuse is a major challenge, we also have an obligation to rural areas where the family shop is a vital part of the community.
“When I met with Junior Health Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy earlier this week, she agreed to look at possible solutions and I am confident that an exemption for small shops will be given careful consideration,” he concluded.