Ireland's complicated relationship with drink
Alcohol is so deeply ingrained in Irish life that it pervades every aspect of our culture and our daily lives.
At one level, it helps make us the interesting people we are - talkers, musicians, artists. On the other hand, however, it can lead to unpleasant anti-social behaviour and random violence.
There is hardly a family in Ireland that is not in one way or another touched by alcoholism. There is also a cultural ambivalence toward those who don't drink, and the idea that they are either alcoholics or there is something fundamentally wrong with them. Well-intentioned people, who should have more sense, attempt to foist drink on people who don't want it, like Mrs Doyle forcing a cup of tea on guests in the parochial house in 'Father Ted'.