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An End to Alcohol Sponsorship on Children's Jerseys

30 March 2008

Order of Business:

On 19th March, 2008, Ivana raised on the Seanad Order of Business her concern at the continued sale in Ireland of replica children's jerseys for English football clubs carrying names and logos for alcohol companies. Shirts or jerseys in the name of clubs like Liverpool FC are on sale in children's sizes in sports shops all over Ireland, bearing ads for well-known alcoholic drinks.

These jerseys continue to be sold here in Ireland, despite the fact that they are no longer available in Britain since 1st January 2008, when a new rule was adopted there forbidding replica sports kits in children's sizes from carrying sponsors' names, where the sponsor is an alcoholic drink company.

Ivana commented in the Seanad: ‘At a time when we are clearly seeing the terrible violence and destruction caused by alcohol abuse on our streets, it is a disgrace that children who wish to wear football kit for particular clubs are walking around advertising alcoholic drinks. Just this morning, in a city centre sports shop, I bought a Liverpool FC jersey for a 9-10 year old bearing the logo of a well-known beer. The Minister for Health has responded to previous queries about this issue by saying that no legislative remedies are available that could restrict or stop the sale of these jerseys. However, this is simply not good enough.

Political leadership is needed to ensure that children are not exposed in this way to alcohol advertising. I call on the Minister for Health to take urgent action to ensure that this practice is ended in the same way that it has been ended in the UK.'