27 national charities, community and medical representative organisations now backing Alcohol Action Ireland’s call for minimum pricing

31 October 2012


27 national charities, community and medical representative organisations now backing Alcohol Action Ireland ’s call for minimum pricing


Minister Alex White to launch Time Please… For Change conference

Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Dublin 2, Thursday, 1 November 9.30am


Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, is calling on the Government to tackle the human and financial costs of alcohol by introducing minimum pricing, a floor price beneath which alcohol cannot be sold as well as bringing forward the other recommendations of National Substance Misuse Strategy report.


A 27-strong coalition is backing minimum pricing including St Patrick ’s University Hospital, The Irish Medical Organisation, The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland  – Public Health Faculty, The ISPCC, The Irish Heart Foundation, The National Youth Council of Ireland, The Rape Crisis Network of Ireland, Barnardos, St Vincent de Paul, Mental Health Ireland, Foroige, Women ’s Aid, The Rise Foundation and The Alzheimer Society of Ireland. (For a full list of the minimum pricing campaign coalition members, see below).


Alcohol Action Ireland Director Fiona Ryan said:  “27 national charities, community and medical representative organisations support the call for minimum pricing with many of these organisations dealing with the realities of alcohol-related harm in communities, families, the health system and on the streets. What we need to remember, however, is that this is not a minority call  – three out of five people want the Government to tackle alcohol pricing with the majority of these in the parenting age group.


 “The World Health Organisation has stated that price matters and is one of the most effective policy interventions a Government can take to reduce alcohol-related harm because of the inextricable link between alcohol consumption and pricing. Time Please… will hear evidence from Canada about how minimum pricing has worked to reduce alcohol consumption in provinces where it was introduced.


 “The price of alcohol is a very real concern. Young people are very aware of price-based promotions and parents are deeply concerned about pricing and other ways of promoting alcohol. The Health Research Board who commissioned the research on attitudes to alcohol pricing and other aspects of alcohol marketing also found that three out of four people supported a 9pm watershed for alcohol ads while 70% supported banning alcohol advertising on social media.  


 “Alcohol marketing which includes pricing, advertising, sponsorship and promotion such as positioning does influence young people ’s attitudes to alcohol and their behaviour. As adults there is a danger that we look back nostalgically on our own teenage experiences, forgetting that children are drinking earlier than previous generations  – the average age of first drinking is now 14 with many drinking earlier. Alcohol is more widely available and more affordable than in previous generations  – a teenager can get absolutely drunk for less than  €10  – a woman can reach her maximum low risk weekly limit for  €7, less than one hour worked on minimum wage. Coupled with that affordability is widespread availability and an explosion of alcohol retailling  – 161% increase during the boom years alone. ”


Ms Ryan cautioned against viewing young people as the only people in Ireland for whom alcohol use was a problem.  

 “The title of this conference is Time Please… for Change and it is time for change because we can no longer afford the alternative in financial and human costs. Alcohol-related harm costs this country an estimated  €3.7 billion a year –  €1.2 billion a year being spent on alcohol-related health costs and  €1.19 billion being spent on alcohol-related crime costs.



Dr Evelyn Gillan, CEO of Alcohol Focus Scotland, will speak about the Scottish government ’s effort to introduce minimum pricing, which is currently subject to judicial review in Scotland and being challenged at European level by the alcohol industry and other member states.


The challenge to Scotland ’s bid to introduce minimum pricing to reduce its high levels of alcohol-related harm comes as a new Canadian study further confirmed the clear link between pricing and alcohol consumption, as well as providing further evidence of the effectiveness of minimum pricing.


For further information or comment please contact Alcohol Action Ireland Communications Officer Conor Cullen on 01-8780610 or 087-7530576.

1.             Alcohol Action Ireland

2.             Alcohol Forum (formerly North West Alcohol Forum)

3.             Barnardos

4.             Citywide   Drugs Crisis Campaign

5.             Focus Ireland

6.             Foroige

7.             Irish Association of Social Care Workers

8.             Irish Association of Suicidology

9.             Mental Health Ireland

10.     Rape Crisis Network of Ireland

11.     Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Faculty of Public Health Medicine

12.     Social Care Ireland

13.     St Patrick ’s University Hospital

14.     St Vincent De Paul


15.     The Alzheimer Society of Ireland

16.     The Ballymun Local Drugs Taskforce

17.     The College of Psychiatry of Ireland

18.     The Family Support Network

19.     The Irish Association of Social Care Workers

20.     The Irish Cancer Society

21.     The Irish Heart Foundation

22.     The Irish Medical Organisation

23.     The ISPCC

24.     The National Youth Council of Ireland

25.     The No Name Club

26.     The Rise Foundation

27.     Women ’s Aid