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RE: Arthurs day.....Time To Tackle the Drinks Industry in Ireland

category national | miscellaneous | other press author Thursday September 27, 2012 09:12author by youth worker Report this post to the editors

Call for action

From The Irish Times , September 24 2012

Twelve months ago I gave a presentation on the subject of youth drug and alcohol abuse to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children. I highlighted the huge pressures facing Ireland’s youth, including peer pressure, bullying, unemployment and emigration, all within a national atmosphere of despair over our collective future. I focused on the widespread culture of binge drinking in Ireland, which appears to be often ignored, accepted or normalised by many parents, publicans, politicians and law enforcers.

I pointed to the entrenched culture of alcohol abuse at the heart of Irish life and the fact we know this is damaging our health, our society and our economy.

Research tells us alcohol abuse adversely affects rates of mental ill health and suicide, road accidents, A E admissions, workplace participation, public disorder offences, rape, domestic violence, and family cohesion. HSE statistics show alcohol is estimated to cost the economy €3.7 billion per year.

I called on politicians to show courage and leadership. Central to this is facing down the powerful drinks industry, groups like British multinational Diageo, and lobbyists from the FAI, GAA and IRFU who embrace alcohol sponsorship.

One year later, and following a summer of alcohol-fuelled controversies, there has been some progress in the debate but little in the way of meaningful action. A few months ago Minister of State Róisín Shortall made reasonable proposals to restrict drink advertising, phase out sponsorship of sporting and culture events by 2016, introduce minimum pricing and impose a responsibility levy to help change our unhealthy drinking culture. Despite Government promises to tackle the issue, Ms Shortall’s proposals didn’t make it to Cabinet, with Fine Gael ministers claiming the proposals were too strict. The issue was due back on the table in September but many fear it may be swept back under the carpet.

As the country prepares for Diageo’s annual “Arthur’s Day celebration”, I would like to repeat my call for political courage, leadership and action.

Elected representatives must unify and demonstrate vision and integrity on an issue that is a core part of our dysfunction as a nation. We need to develop the national debate about our drinking habits, to ask on a deeper level why we abuse alcohol so much, and to explore alternative ways and places to socialise and celebrate. Ireland can be a great nation, but it is time to wise up and lose our “drunken Paddy” reputation.

Politicians, if they truly have the best interests of our people at heart, must face down the drinks industry. It is time to work together to create a proud, strong and healthy nation that realises our enormous potential. – Is mise,

RUAIRÍ McKIERNAN,

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   Arthurs day is ridiculous and an insult to the Irish people.     serf    Thu Sep 27, 2012 21:03 
   If I ...     Alec    Thu Sep 27, 2012 23:51 
   This "freedom" does not trump all...     serf    Fri Sep 28, 2012 00:31 
   Costs and taxes     southern comfort    Mon Oct 01, 2012 20:06 
   Per capita alcohol consumption in Ireland 1991 to 2010     T    Fri Oct 05, 2012 14:14 
   Cheap Drink & no morals     Searson    Sat Oct 06, 2012 16:52 
   Searson's judgement     P Naughton    Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:40 
   actually ........     Licence man    Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:23 
   Checks and balances.     Gale Vogel    Sun Oct 07, 2012 18:40 
 10   Checks and Balances     Searson    Mon Oct 08, 2012 15:19 
 11   Finally alcohol per capita consumption by country and year     T    Tue Oct 09, 2012 17:13 
 12   the graphs do not capture the way different cultures drink     serf    Tue Oct 09, 2012 17:53 
 13   alcohol destroys lives..     stop the madness    Tue Oct 09, 2012 20:05 
 14   Some well known musicians attack arthurs day. Yay!     serf    Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:07 
 15   Revival of traditional pub environment without Bawdy behaviour     Chestnut    Sun Nov 11, 2012 15:05 
 16   Paradox. Will they hunt with the hare or the hounds     Blake    Mon Dec 03, 2012 15:09 
 17   Didn't get the message Blake     Comyn    Thu Dec 06, 2012 14:02 
 18   Christy moores protest song     serf    Wed Sep 25, 2013 16:38 
 19   Song for arthurs day by mike scott     serf    Wed Sep 25, 2013 16:50 
 20   Arthur's Day Christy Moore song. Addiction v sensible consumption. Education     Clare Eaglet    Mon Oct 28, 2013 16:44 


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