Thursday 29 September 2016

Alcohol consumption declines 25pc in Ireland over the last 15 years

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 15/03/2016 | 11:53

File. Photo: PA
File. Photo: PA

A new study has found alcohol consumption in Ireland is on the decline.

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The study, conducted by the Dublin City University Business School, used the latest figures from the Revenue Commissioners’ alcohol clearance data to calculate the average alcohol consumption per adult in Ireland in 2015.

It found that we are now drinking 11.013 litres of pure alcohol per person, a 0.7pc drop compared to the previous year.

In terms of specific beverages, the study found a note-worthy 6.9pc decline in cider consumption, while wine is becoming more popular, rising by 2.2pc.

Total alcohol consumption is down 0.3pc, continuing a long-term trend of consumption decline.

In 2001, alcohol consumption in Ireland was at its peak. Ireland had the highest level of alcohol consumption in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) database.

Over the last 15 years, consumption has fallen 23.9pc, according to the report.

We’ve also dropped to ninth place on the OECD’s ranking of annual alcohol consumption per country.

Austria tops the list, with 12.2 litres per adult (lpa), followed by Estonia (11.8lpa) and the Czech Republic (11.5lpa).

Speaking about the DCU report’s findings, Maggie Timoney, Chair of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland and Chief Executive of Heineken Ireland, said: “When framing public policy issues pertaining to alcohol, it is important that we rely on an appropriate fact base.

“The drinks industry is committed to working with the Government in the context of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill to find workable and effective solutions to address misuse.” 

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