World Ireland to push ahead with alcohol minimum pricing
Wildfire in Northern Ireland declared a 'major incident'
LONDON (AP) — Firefighters in Northern Ireland are spending a second day batting fires across difficult terrain on the Mourne Mountains. More than 70 firefighters and 10 fire trucks from across Northern Ireland were involved Saturday in trying to contain the wildfire, while helicopters from both Britain and Ireland are set to join the effort. The wildfire has been raging since Friday morning in the Slieve Donard area — the highest point in Northern Ireland with a peak of 850 meters (2,780 feet).
The Republic of Ireland's cabinet is expected to push ahead with alcohol minimum unit pricing, despite opposition from retailers.
Retailers fear unless similar measures are introduced in Northern Ireland there will be a surge in cross-border shoppers seeking "cheaper booze".
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly believes minimum pricing for alcohol is a necessary public health measure.
The issue will be discussed when the cabinet meets on Tuesday.
Statistics from the country's Revenue Commissioners indicate that alcohol consumption levels in 2020 were 10.07 litres of pure alcohol per person, only slightly down - 6.6% - on the previous year despite the closure of many pubs and restaurants for large parts of 2020.
Golf starts to reopen in Ireland, with many COVID-19 restrictions still in place
Club members in Ireland were able to play golf again Monday as the Republic began to ease COVID-19 restrictions that have shuttered courses for more than 200 days in the past year. This follows in the wake of Ireland’s neighbors reopening golf in recent weeks.…This follows in the wake of Ireland’s neighbors reopening golf in recent weeks. England reopened the sport March 29, and Northern Ireland resumed golf April 1. The sport is also open in Scotland and Wales.
Alcohol consumption has remained at about 11 litres per person since 2015.
That is the equivalent of 116 bottles of wine or 445 pints of beer per adult every year.
The proposed measures would see a can of lager costing at least €1.32 (£1.14) and a bottle of chardonnay €7.75 (£6.70) based on 10 cents per gram of alcohol.
The representative body Drink Ireland said it was in favour of tackling excessive alcohol consumption to reduce its misuse, but any measure must be introduced on both sides of the border simultaneously.
N.Irish leader Foster to step down after losing party backing
Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster on Wednesday announced her resignation, after facing declining support and an internal party no-confidence vote, at a tense time in the divided British province. The 50-year-old politician said she would quit as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on May 28 and as first minister at the end of June, calling it "the privilege of my life" to have served in the roles. "I have sought to leadThe 50-year-old politician said she would quit as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on May 28 and as first minister at the end of June, calling it "the privilege of my life" to have served in the roles.
Its director Patricia Callan said that unilaterally introducing minimum unit pricing in the Republic of Ireland would "massive pressures on border businesses, and lead toto an increase in illicit alcohol smuggling at the border, all at a vulnerable time for our economy".
But ministers are expected to ignore that advice, citing the Scottish example.
Scotland introduced minimum unit pricing in 2018 andin more than two decades.
Covid-19 restrictions to be eased in Ireland .
Close-contact services such as hairdressers can reopen on Monday and click-and-collect retail can resume. People will also be able to travel outside their own county for the first time in more than four months while sports training can resume.The country has been at Level Five, its highest level of restrictions, since Christmas.The easing of restrictions in the Republic of Ireland is part of a phased relaxation of the country's strict Covid-19 lockdown announced by Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Micheál Martin in April.Libraries, museums, galleries and other cultural attractions are also opening.