The Irish Farmers' Association has expressing concern that ending sponsorship of sporting activity by alcohol companies could damage Irish farming.

IFA President John Bryan said impeding the economic activity of the Irish drinks industry will negatively impact the agri-food sector that provides raw material to the drinks industry.

He said the reputations of global Irish drinks brands are built partially on sponsorship and advertising and they must retain market share.

Every year brewers and distillers purchase hundreds of thousands of tonnes of malting barley and apples for beers and ciders.

He said it also purchases millions of litres of milk for liqueurs.

Mr Bryan said education is the best way to ensure alcohol is treated responsibly.

He said he was also concerned how removing sponsorship would impact on local sports clubs.