Sunday 21 January 2018

Dr Ciara Kelly quits anti-alcohol campaign 'due to time constraints'

Dr. Ciara Kelly.
Dr. Ciara Kelly.
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Dr Ciara Kelly is no longer on the board of the campaign to STOP Out-of-Control drinking “due to time constraints”.

Dr Kelly, a resident doctor with RTE’s Operation Transformation, made the annoucement this afternoon.

“Owing to time constraints Dr Ciara Kelly is no longer on the board of the campaign to STOP Out-of-Control drinking.”

“She remains a strong supporter of the campaign and encourages others to get involved at and help shape Ireland’s plan to stop out-of-control drinking.”

The new anti-alcohol campaign has been recently criticised as “a smokescreen”.

Drinks giant Diageo also supports the campaign, though campaign leader Fergus Finlay has stated that the organisation's work would be fully independent.

Despite this, there is growing opposition to the project which has gathered pace in the past few days.

To date, more than 50 individuals and organisations have signed an open letter rejecting claims this initiative on alcohol abuse is truly independent.

Among the opponents are the National Youth Council of Ireland, Professor John Crown, comedian Des Bishop, folk singer Christy Moore, the Union of Students in Ireland, and former GAA president Dr Mick Loftus.

They say there is an "inherent conflict" between the commercial interests of the alcohol industry, and its involvement in initiatives to tackle over consumption.

However, this afternoon Dr Kelly said her decision to leave the campaign was based on “time constraints”.

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