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We shouldn't use alcohol to blot out reality

Emer O'Kelly


There is a sense in this country that drinking is kept in control if it's concentrated in the pub, writes Emer O'Kelly

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I drink. Probably more than is good for me. That's what I'm inclined to put down on medical questionnaires. Yet I don't know when I was last in a pub. Certainly it is probably more than a year ago. I don't follow the practice of going home for what in Ireland is known as "the tea". And then abandoning respectability, as it were, and heading for the pub, where real life will begin.

I prefer the French style: alcohol (in my case red wine) as part of living, and frequently accompanying food. And I love what is called in the tropics a sundowner, a glass at the end of the working day, watching the 6.01 news if at home, (and yes, I live alone), or meeting a friend for a quick catch-up, maybe in our new (and wonderful) local wine bar. Then heading home for supper. In other words, not ending the day by staying in the pub until throwing out time.

And yes, I do know first hand the damage alcohol abuse causes, and am inclined to have a lot more sympathy for those around the alcoholic. Alcoholics can be selfish, manipulative, dishonest and destructive, even if alcoholism is an illness.