Friday 22 September 2017

Something must change in our booze-soaked society

Ireland desperately needs an honest national debate about our relationship with alcohol

Gavin Duffy

Last Tuesday morning, from 8am, students started queuing outside a pub in Galway for the legend that is Donegal Tuesday. It is, by all accounts, great craic. Get merry by 11 o'clock, drunk by noon, legless by mid-afternoon and literally "trolleyed" by 4pm - that is, on a trolley in a local A&E. Are we mad? In a generation or two, we have gone from a drink culture to a drink society.

We have to stop out-of-control drinking and we desperately need a national debate about our relationship with alcohol. This is not the first time I have written in the Sunday Independent on this topic but I am always slightly uneasy about airing my views because I am a non-drinker.

I am not sure non-drinkers should tell others how to moderate their drinking. I constantly battle with my yo-yo weight. I hate skinny people telling me how to lose weight as they chew on their celery. Non-drinkers are probably not the best messengers either, as we are invariably treated with suspicion.

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