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Tuesday 20 February 2018

No shots over the bar for GAA stars as they banish the booze in January

GAA followers are being urged to go cold turkey and give up alcohol for January amid growing concern about our booze culture.

The sporting body is hoping if enough people hit the dry in January it will be a new year resolution with lasting effects.

The 'Off the Booze and on the Ball' campaign, launched yesterday, also encourages followers to step up their weekly exercise regime and make it a habit.

The move comes against a background of continuing anxiety about the way drinking sessions still make up so much of the celebrations and commiserations among fans in different sports.

Among those supporting the campaign yesterday were GAA stars Oisin McConville of Crossmaglen -- who has previously spoken of his gambling addiction -- and Mayo's Aidan O'Shea and Alan Freeman.

The senior panel from Melvin Gael's club, who were Leitrim Intermediate champions in 2010, have already signed up to take the pledge.

GAA president Criostoir O Cuana said: "Twinning a reduction in alcohol intake with increased physical activity makes perfect sense after the excesses of the festive season."

Junior Health Minister Roisin Shortall said yesterday: "I hope other sporting bodies will adopt similar schemes."

Irish Independent

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