Penny’s have withdrawn a novelty hip flask bracelet after shoppers raised concerns about selling such products in shops frequented by young people.
A caller to RTE’s Liveline programme raised concerns about the hip flask bracelet, which has been on sale in Penny’s Ireland for €12.
The caller, named as Suzanne, said she felt the object “glamorises” drinking and said she thought it was very irresponsible to sell such a product given the amount of underage drinking in Ireland.
Health Minister Simon Harris said in a statement to the show: “These products might be attractive to children and I would ask companies to consider this in their marketing.
“Recent figures show an 80% increase in the number of children under the age of 16 admitted to Irish hospitals because of alcohol intoxication.This meant that 36 spent a night in hospital due to alcohol. This figure should be zero.
“I have introduced legislation to protect our children from alcohol advertising…It is my strong view that there should be no room for alcohol in Irish childhoods.”
Penny’s said: ““Penney’s always welcomes customer feedback and continuously tailors its product offering to reflect this. We take our responsibility as a retailer seriously and we have made a decision to remove the novelty hip flask from sale.
“We apologise to our customers for any upset caused.”