Friday 22 November 2019

Prof Frank Murray: 'It's time to turn down the tap of cheap alcohol'

Mr Murray chairs a new Alcohol Health Alliance, comprising of some of the country's leading health specialists.
Mr Murray chairs a new Alcohol Health Alliance, comprising of some of the country's leading health specialists.

Mark O'Regan

Minimum pricing for alcohol has received strong support from one of the country's top liver specialists.

Professor Frank Murray said it is crucial to "turn down the tap of cheap alcohol for problem drinkers and young drinkers."

Mr Murray chairs a new Alcohol Health Alliance, comprising of some of the country's leading health specialists.

The Alliance also points out that the World Health Organisation states the alcohol industry should have no role in formulating policies in this area.

The WHO warns of the risk of ''distortion by commercial or vested interests”.

His comments follow growing criticism in recent days regarding the involvement of drinks giant Diageo in the new 'Stop Out of Control Drinking' campaign,

Professor Murray said there have been "catastrophic consequences'' arising from Ireland’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

''In particular, we welcome the introduction of minimum unit pricing of alcohol, enforcement measures around the sale of alcohol to young people, and the regulation of alcohol advertising,'' he added.

The Alcohol Health Alliance, which was set up by The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, and Alcohol Action Ireland, also includes a wide range of public health campaigners including medical professionals, NGOs and charities.

“The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill marks the first time an Irish Government will legislate to tackle alcohol harm. and therefore offers us a unique opportunity to finally begin to address one of the most significant public health issues in Ireland today,'' said Suzanne Costello, CEO of Alcohol Action Ireland''.

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