Friday 19 January 2018

Editorial: Alcohol issue requires further examination

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins


The first thing that must be said is that, as a nation Ireland, has a problem with alcohol, and for some it is far worse than for others. A significant minority drink to excess and, whether we like it or not, this tendency to over-indulge in alcohol is being passed down to our children, in some cases young teenagers who think nothing of drinking a naggin, or what is called 'a shoulder', of vodka - before going out for the evening.

So there is no arguing that parents and children need to learn how to control their drinking. This is difficult in a country where every occasion, births, marriages and deaths, hot weather, cold weather, success or failure, are all celebrated with alcohol. Every occasion is an excuse to crack open a bottle.

That said, the majority of Irish people enjoy their drinking with good humour and song, stories and laughter. The question now is whether the Government's latest attempt to curb the sale of cheap drink, announced on Tuesday by Health Minister Leo Varadkar will succeed. It is doubtful.

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