ID card for young drinkers on the way

 

The Minister for Justice is to introduce a voluntary identity card early next year for young drinkers.

Mr O'Donoghue said the production of such a card would provide proof that the person being served alcohol was over the legal age of 18 years. He said he was also considering removing the current legal provision which allows a publican say that he or she had a "reasonable belief" that the person served alcohol was over the legal age, although they were younger than that.

"There is too much under-age drinking in this country," he said. The Minister added that if the introduction of an identity card did not deal with the problem he would consider further measures.

Mr John Mansworth (Cork East) said there was no hiding place within the vintners' federation for those who knowingly served alcohol to those who were under-age. "A section of the existing law which must be strengthened relates to those who procure alcohol for those under 18 years.

Minister, I urge you to take these people on very strongly and you will have the support of the entire licensed trade in this country behind you."

Criticising the opposition parties, the Minister said Labour was on the verge of a merger with one of the very few parties on the planet which had more names in the past than it had deputies. "Sinn Fein, Official Sinn Fein, Sinn Fein The Workers' Party, The Workers' Party, New Agenda and Democratic Left . . . The last election proved to be a demographic disaster for Democratic Left, and it has tried to overcome this by utilising the oldest trick in the PR man's book - changing its name. It is as if by renaming Windscale as Sellafield that the danger is in some way decreased."