Irish premier Bertie Ahern has promised to put new laws in place by the summer to tackle the "easy availability" of alcohol in retail outlets, which he blames for a shocking rise alcohol-related violence.
Ahern made the comments after a brutal double murder in the Dublin suburb of Drimnagh. Two Polish workers were stabbed to death by a teenage gang when they refused to buy alcohol for them.
It was the latest in a series of violent incidents that Ahern said were "undoubtedly alcohol-related". He cited statistics suggesting alcohol consumption in the Republic had increased 17% between 1995 and 2006.
"Increased alcohol availability and excessive consumption patterns have had a serious impact on public order and there are a number of areas that I want to see addressed - for instance, the number of supermarkets and c-stores with off-licences and the various promotions on alcohol, which are now heavily advertised and very often target the younger market," he said. "We also need to look closely at preventing licensees from selling below cost and certain types of special offers should be stopped."
An advisory group is currently considering alcohol sales and promotions by supermarkets, as well as opening hours, as part of a general liquor licensing review, and is due to report to government shortly.