Call for alcohol-free St Patrick's Day
Q Families are being urged to keep this St Patrick's Day alcohol free.
In a special message, the Irish Bishops Drugs Initiative (IBDI) called on parents to enjoy the national holiday with their children by keeping alcohol out of their celebrations.
Bishop Eamon Walsh of the IBDI urged parents to act responsibly. "Parents are the most important influence on children in terms of alcohol use, and the example set by parents will have a major effect on the relationship young people will have with alcohol," he said.
He referred to national and international research showing parental influence is much more significant than peer influence regarding drink.
Young people who start drinking before 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol-related damage and dependence.