Council Archives

Action On Alcohol Abuse

Thu 20 May 2004

Timmy believes that Ireland's attitude to alcohol has got to change. We can no longer dismiss alcohol as part of 'who we are'. We are paying a huge price with the health and lives of our young people. Paying through clogged up accident and emergency wards. Paying through higher crime rates and paying through our taxes. Without proper action this situation will, without doubt, worsen.

Fine Gael Spokesperson on Justice and Law Reform," Deputy John Deasy speaking at the recent launch of his policy document, 'Action on Alcohol' said:

"The Government has commissioned report after report. It has appointed task forces. It has spoken about the need for action. But it has not acted," he said.

"Ireland needs action on alcohol abuse that is not simply concerned with issues like competition, price and choice. Instead, we need action that safeguards public health, ensures the law is upheld, protects families and strengthens communities.

We need to adopt a more mature attitude to alcohol. But changing Ireland's drinking culture will take time. We must ensure that children know the dangers of addiction, that young people take responsibility for their behaviour and all of us are aware of the consequences of our actions.

"Alcohol abuse costs the people of Ireland around 2.4 billion every year.

"That is 600 for every man, woman and child in the country.

"This is money that would be better spent on education for our children, better spent on services for the elderly and better spent on healthcare for the sick."