Offaly TD wins the most random award you've never heard of

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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news@offalyexpress.ie

Former junior health minister and Offaly TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has been given the title 'Nanny-in-Chief 2018' for "outstanding services to the nanny state" at a dinner in Dublin.

The Fine Gael TD showed she could take a joke as she was presented with her tongue-in-cheek award by the smokers' group Forest which hosted the Golden Nanny Awards in Dublin this week.

As minister of state for health promotion from 2016-17 the former minister spearheaded the introduction of plain packaging of tobacco products, a move the smoker's group Forest disapprove of.

She also assisted with the introduction of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill which she described as "urgently needed for public well-being."

The legislation will pave the way for measures such as minimum unit pricing, cancer warnings, and segregation of alcohol sales in shops to be introduced.

Accepting her trophy, which was presented by her predecessor Senator Catherine Noone, Deputy Corcoran Kennedy joked:

“Thank you for this amazing award. I feel really honoured."

“I’m going to put it on my mantlepiece and reflect on the outcome of having introduced sugar tax, the alcohol bill and plain packaging," she added.

“I might even have a glass of wine to celebrate.”

Other winners at last night's awards dinner, which was organised by the smokers' group Forest Ireland, included Trinity College Dublin for introducing a campus-wide smoking ban, the Restaurants Association of Ireland for welcoming a possible ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas, and Alcohol Action Ireland for backing the alcohol bill.

John Mallon, spokesman for Forest Ireland, told guests, "Every year nanny state campaigners strengthen their iron grip on the nation. For years tobacco was in the firing line. Now it's alcohol and sugar. What next?"

"Enough is enough. It's time to re-establish a live and let live culture that allows adults to make informed choices without being patronised or punished."