The Government's controversial plans to make wine, beer and spirits more expensive has hit something of a speed bump… and now may not be implemented at all.
Although the proposals have been given the nod by the European Health Commissioner the move may still be illegal in the eyes of Brussels.
That's because of the European single market – a basis under which some ten mainly alcohol-producing EU countries have now objected to Ireland's plans for more pricey booze.
Ireland has a per capita consumption of ten litres per annum, a figure which puts us behind the likes of the Czech Republic, Russia, Austria and Lithuania – but globally still very much in the Top Ten drinking nations.
We currently consume about the same amount as France and Australia.
Whether the proposed bills makes it through the Oireachtas will also largely rest of the success of a similar bid to introduce minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland.
There, the EU has said that the proposals CAN be implemented on public health grounds – but only if there are no other alternatives.