Friday 19 January 2018

Some of us would rather die than call ourselves the A-word

Cartoonist: Jim Cogan
Cartoonist: Jim Cogan
Declan Lynch

Declan Lynch

As the comedian Sean Hughes was laid to rest in Islington last Monday, his brother Martin spoke of the many sacrifices which his parents, Terry and John, had made for them, adding that "my poor old dad continues to pay for it, remembered in every newspaper article this week as an alcoholic. One thing you can have for the record, is that our dad was definitely not an alcoholic. He only ever drank in company and to have the craic, and he never once drank at home."

I never knew Sean Hughes's father, and indeed I never knew Sean Hughes, so if Martin Hughes is saying that his father was definitely not an alcoholic, it is certainly not for me to dispute it, or to question it in any way.

But I would make an observation, which may be of general interest in this fiendishly difficult area - there is this tendency that we all have, to try to define what is alcoholism, and what is not, according to various "rules" which have formed in our minds over time.

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