Research commissioned by retailers uncovered a worrying trend that in Dublin alone more than one in six shops have been offered counterfeit cigarettes to sell – up from just 10% last year.
Mr Gilsenan said: “We have seen no leadership from those in power and this is reflected in the survey, our members aren’t sure where to turn to and which department of government should be tackling the problem.
“The retail sector is one of the biggest in Ireland, we employ hundreds of thousands of workers yet we are being left to fend for ourselves when it comes to this matter.
The survey of 500 stores across the country found the vast majority, 81%, feel the Government is not doing enough to tackle the lucrative black market trade.
It also warned that just over a quarter of cigarettes smoked in Ireland are illegal. [emphasis added]