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 Header Item Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Bill 2016: Order for Report Stage
 Header Item Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Bill 2016: Report Stage

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 971 No. 2

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Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Bill 2016: Order for Report Stage

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I move: "That Report Stage be taken now."

  Question put and agreed to.

Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Bill 2016: Report Stage

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Amendments Nos. 1 to 3, inclusive, are related. Amendments Nos. 2 and 3 are physical alternatives to No. 1. Amendment No. 3 is a physical alternative to No. 2. Amendments Nos. 1 to 3, inclusive, will be discussed together.

Deputy Mick Wallace: Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace I move amendment No. 1:

In page 3, lines 10 to 25, to delete all words from and including “(1) Where” in line 10 down to and including line 25 and substitute the following:
“(1) Where a person who holds a relevant licence (in this section referred to as “the applicant”) duly gives notice of his or her intention to apply for a licence under this section in respect of a relevant premises and, at the proceedings in relation to the application, the applicant shows to the satisfaction of the Court that a relevant licence is in force in respect of the premises, the Court shall cause a certificate to be granted to the applicant entitling him or her to receive a licence in respect of the relevant premises (in this section referred to as a “producer’s retail licence”), unless the Court prohibits the issuing of the licence on the grounds of—

(a) the character, misconduct or unfitness of the applicant,

(b) the unfitness or inconvenience of the premises, or

(c) the unsuitability of the premises for the needs of persons residing in the neighbourhood.”.

  We had much debate on this in committee. We were of the impression that a few things were going to be adjusted in the Bill because the majority agreed with them on Committee Stage. We notice the Government has not gone there just yet so we may argue again.

  Amendment No. 1, page 3, lines 10 to 25, is, in a nutshell, trying to get rid of the tour. Truth be told, it is just about impossible to monitor it. The three amendments have been grouped but there is a substantial difference between them. Deputies Clare Daly and Alan Kelly have put forward essentially the same amendment in that they both make the distinction that the necessity of the guided tour should be only for consumption of alcohol on the premises and should not be necessary for off-sales. While I agree with that, if we are engaging in the making of good legislation, we should try to get rid of the tour altogether. I will explain why. As we discussed on Committee Stage, the way the Bill has been amended by the Department sets up a situation whereby small breweries will more than likely not qualify for the ability to give guided tours. On Committee Stage, I stated:

  For an applicant to qualify for an off-sales licence, or off and on-sales licences, he or she must show that guided tours can be held on the premises and that the premises is suitable for guided tours in the first place. This automatically rules out a great number of the microbreweries in Ireland from qualifying for these licences. Many microbreweries are packed to the rafters with fermenters, pipework and brewing and packaging materials as many producers start out with small enough kits and, as they see increasing demand, purchase more fermentation and storage vessels until they have no more room to move in their workspaces. These breweries which are doing a lot in a small space, generally due to lack of investment and available funds to expand to bigger premises, are both precisely those who need the help this Bill could offer them financially and, because of the way in which the Government amendments are crafted, those who will not benefit from the Bill.

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