Updated: 16/02/17 : 12:42:53
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Sligo rural transport in threatened by proposed advertising ban

New advertising restrictions proposed in the Public Health Alcohol Bill will have a huge impact on public transport revenues threatening bus services in rural towns and villages across Sligo according to a leading agri-economist.

Ciaran Fitzgerald, agri-economist and consultant with Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) has warned that measures contained in the proposed Bill which will ban outdoor advertising from public transport will mean less revenue for beleaguered public services operating in rural towns and villages across Sligo, upon which so many people depend. 

CIE has provided the Government with a stark warning, that it will lose over €1.3 million per year in revenue if the rules around alcohol advertising are changed. The gravity of Bus Eireann’s perilous financial situation has been revealed with losses expected to reach €6 million this year, and unless savings are made the company could be insolvent within 18 months.

Speaking about the threats posed by the ban on advertising Ciaran Fitzgerald said, “provisions in the Bill could slash critical revenues which are essential for Bus Eireann’s survival. Bus services provide a lifeline to thousands of people in rural Sligo and this another example of Dublin centric policymaking which shows little understanding of the issues those living in rural Ireland face. The more we learn about the unintended consequences of the Bill the clearer it becomes that it must be withdrawn and the Government should go back to the drawing board. 

“The reality is, Ireland already abides by some of Europe’s strictest codes for advertising and marketing to ensure responsible promotion of its products.  There is no evidence that advertising proposals contained in the Bill will do anything to tackle alcohol misuse but we do know they could prove disastrous for those in rural towns and villages in Sligo who depend on vital public transport services,” concluded Mr Fitzgerald.