Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sean Saves Our Duty Free

The next time you are sitting back with a glass of 10-year-old whiskey bought in the duty free, raise a toast to MEP and former GAA supremo Sean Kelly.

For if it were not for his dogged determination, duty free could be a thing of the past given the direction that the World Health Organisation was heading.

OK – so Duty Free doesn’t exist within Europe. But to the people travelling to and from the US and farther a field, it is a boom business.

Even the thought of banning it completely would have sent a serious economic shiver down Ireland’s backbone.

This week, the World Health Organisation decided to drop its proposal to ban sales of duty free alcohol. Sean Kelly had previously contacted the European Commission and asked them to oppose the proposal.

The duty free sector is worth €2 billion in sales annually in the EU.

"I was concerned about the effect such a proposal could have had on jobs, especially for airports such as Shannon, Cork and Kerry in my constituency who rely heavily on duty free sales,” Kelly said.

“Aer Rianta International would have experienced a huge drop in its profits worldwide network of duty free shops. And Irish producers of leading brands of whisky and other alcohol products would also have suffered significant financial loss.”

So rather than sitting in a grey room in Brussels, it seems that new MEP Sean Kelly is actually doing something substantial for not just his constituents – who like a tipple every now and then – but for the people of Ireland as a whole who are sick of the Political Correctness coming from Europe.

Thanks Sean – I raise my glass of single malt to you!

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