Fears over Kilkenny festival funding 'alarmist', says Alcohol Action Ireland

New Bill 'does not propose any prohibition on alcohol sponsorship of arts or cultural events'

Sam Matthews


Sam Matthews



New alcohol bill.

File photo

National charity Alcohol Action Ireland has rejected some of the concerns being raised about the impact of the new Public Health (Alcohol) Bill on the future of local festival funding in Kilkenny.

Last week, chief executive of the Kilkenny Roots Festival John Cleere expressed fears that the bill would pose a 'significant threat' to the viability of the Kilkenny Roots Festival, and potentially create a funding vacuum.

However, a spokesperson for Alcohol Action Ireland has said that some of the observations being made around the new bill are alarmist and mistaken. Eunan McKinney says that the bill does not propose any prohibition on alcohol sponsorship of arts or cultural events, nor does it propose to prohibit advertising of alcohol products.

“The bill does contain a modest set of regulations that will limit the appeal of alcohol advertising, particularly to children,” he said.

“This will minimise its impact so that alcohol products can no longer align with performance, success, social inclusion or a variety of other positive outcomes.

“It is notable that the Kilkenny Arts Festival 2017 is planning a very exciting programme, with the support of 48 sponsors, none of whom are alcohol related.”

The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill contains a range of measures designed to work together to reduce alcohol consumption in Ireland so lessening alcohol-related harms.