The Irish government has announced a set of regulations imposing a ban on alcohol advertisements near schools or local authority playgrounds.

Under the rules, expected to become effective from 12 November, drinks companies will be hit with hefty fines if they attempt to attract young people into alcohol addiction by advertising their products near schools.

Furthermore, manufacturers of alcoholic beverages are not allowed to advertise their products on public transport.

The decision was announced by Health Minister Simon Harris who said that violators could face a fine of €5,000, as well as imprisonment for six months.

Advertisements of alcoholic products will be banned within 200m of schools, creches and playgrounds after the rules come into effect.

Additionally, the government is planning to impose a ban on advertisements of alcoholic products in cinemas.

Advertisements at cinemas would be only allowed for films categorised for people above the age of 18 years.

The government has also imposed a ban on children clothing that promotes alcohol products.

Media sources quoted Harris as saying: “Alcohol is a drug and one which has real risks and harms associated with it. It damages our health, harms our communities and hurts many families.

“That’s why we have for the very first time in the history of the State legislated for alcohol as it affects our health. The sanctions, I believe, are an acknowledgement of the seriousness in which we have to treat alcohol. Large companies have lured our children into alcohol addiction through advertisement.”