Talking about beer

The government is upset about how much the Irish drink and how they behave when drunk (like make salsa). They are thinking of ways to tackle the so called drinking culture including measures to prohibit free bars and cheap drink being sold during happy hours.

At the same time, the Minister for Health is bringing in a measure to ban smoking in pubs. It comes into enforce on Jan 1 2004. A government minister has come out against the plan.

The Minister for Agriculture, Mr Walsh, has openly opposed the plan by the Minister for Health, Mr Martin, to ban smoking in pubs and restaurants from January 1st next year.

The Minister for Agriculture voiced his opposition when he opened a new bottling line for Cork-based brewery Beamish & Crawford on Friday. Departing from a prepared script, Mr Walsh said: “I have received strong representations from vintners who have told me that if the ban goes ahead it would have a detrimental effect on their businesses.”

So its ok for a minister to say that we can’t ban smoking because it would have a detrimental effect on the brewing industry. This is a minister who we can assume supports the government position that we must encourage pepole to change their attitudes to drink and to drink less. Presumably that wouldn’t have any effect on the brewing industry at all.

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