Alcohol: a uniquely Irish problem?

What is Ireland ’s problem with alcohol?

Why are 2,000 beds in acute hospitals taken up with patients with alcohol-related illnesses, every night?  Are we ignoring the true scale of the problem drinkers and alcoholics that are living in Ireland? Are there solutions to tackling these issues?

Newstalk Lunchtime hosted a special outside broadcast from the Science Gallery on Pearse Street in Dublin asking some of these questions. Jonathan Healy was joined by a panel of guest speakers:

Dr Conor Farren, psychiatrist and author of  “Overcoming Alcohol Misuse ”

Anne Marie McMahon, psychologist and addiction counsellor at St John of God ’s Hospital

Prof Shane Alwright, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Trinity College, Dublin

Fiona Ryan, CEO of Alcohol Action Ireland

Jim McCabe, Spokesperson for the National Off-Licence Association

Gerry Rafter, President of the Vintner ’s Federation of Ireland

Brian O ’Connell, journalist and author of  “Wasted ”

Ross O ’Shea, young man who became dependent on alcohol as a teenager, and spent a year in AA when he was 18.

It was an engaging and informative discussion, and you can listen to it here.