Alcohol 'should have no place in Junior Cert celebrations'
Parents of celebrating Junior Cert pupils have been urged to talk to them about the dangers of alcohol.
As more than 62,000 secondary students receive their results at schools around the country today, Miriam Taber, chief executive of Drinkaware, said alcohol should have no place in their celebrations.
"The Junior Cert results are a fantastic achievement and of course should be celebrated. But these young people are about 15 years old, which is too young to be drinking alcohol and we should not accept alcohol is synonymous with these events," she said.
"Our research highlights a worrying trend: an increasing number of parents now find it acceptable for their children to drink at home before 15 years."
A recent survey of 500 parents revealed two in five believe it is a good idea to introduce children to alcohol at home before the age of 18.
"International research shows people who start drinking alcohol before the age of 15 years are four times more likely to experience alcohol-related issues later in life than those who begin at age 20 or older," said Ms Taber.
Clive Byrne, director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals, urged schools to give out results as late in the day as possible. "We discourage schools from issuing them immediately because that encourages students to be out around the town or village or city."