The Convenience Stores & Newsagents Association (CSNA) has expressed its concern at what it calls the 'prejudice against convenience and petrol outlets' when it comes to the sale of alcohol.
Citing calls from public health officials and publicans for more restrictions on the sale of alcohol in retail outlets, the CSNA said in its weekly e-newsletter that "attempts by detractors to suggest that our sector should not be allowed to provide choice, range and value is both anti-competitive and protectionist.
"The Intoxicating Liquor Acts permit the Courts to grant licences to sell alcohol to applicants that can satisfy the presiding Judge that the applicant is of good character and the premises to which the licence is being sought meets planning requirements."
It added: "This is the existing procedure; individual applications are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. We are concerned that attempts to restrict an entire sector solely on the grounds that they are engaged in the sale of other products, be they grocery or petrol, are unfair and must be seen as restricting choice to our customer base."
The group said that it will defend the rights of its members to be treated equally and 'will resist any attempts to treat all store owners as “unworthy” of selling alcohol'.
Later this week, industry bodies including Alcohol Action Ireland, the National Off-Licence Association, the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland, the Vintners' Federation of Ireland and the Licensed Vintners Association will present at a Joint Health Committee meeting to continue discussions on the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015.
That meeting takes place at 11.15am this Thursday.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones