Alcohol Action Ireland says allowing pubs and nightclubs to stay open later will lead to an increase in alcohol-related deaths.
The lobby group is due to give the warning to the Oireachtas Justice Committee today, as TDs and Senators continue to look at new legislation that would extend opening hours for pubs and nightclubs.
The Sale of Alcohol Bill proposes to extend pub hours until 12.30 am, and nightclubs until 6 am.
It also proposes extending alcohol licensing to cultural settings like theatres and museums.
But CEO of Alcohol Action Ireland, Sheila Gilheany, says the alcohol industry should have to pay a levy towards the harm it causes.
"Right now we know that alcohol costs Ireland at least €3.7 billion.
We would say that a 'polluter pays' model should be operation. It's really important that we start to charge the industry which is making an awful lot money out of a product, which is causing an awful lot of harm."
Prof Frank Murray, Chair of the Board of Alcohol Action Ireland, said, "We know that alcohol is responsible for 4 deaths every day – a third of them from accident or incident. Alongside this hospital admission for alcohol-related liver disease increased by 262% from 1995 to 2017.
"The Government of Ireland enacted the Public Health Alcohol Act in 2018 to much international acclaim, with the express aim of reducing alcohol harm. The proposals in the Sale of Alcohol Bill, however, act against the intent of the 2018 Public Health Alcohol Act.
“Alcohol is no ordinary commodity and is quite different from everything else sold in retail in Ireland. It is psychoactive, dependence-producing, and intoxicating. It is a carcinogenic, neurotoxic and teratogenic substance."