Alcohol Action Ireland | It’s time for the Government to examine the extent and impact of parental alcohol problems on children

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, today called on the Government to act on behalf of children affected by parental alcohol problems, following the publication of the SLÁN report, which reveals that over half of all drinkers reported a harmful pattern of drinking.

Speaking after the release of new data from the Survey of Lifestyle, Attitude and Nutrition (SLÁN), Acting Director Cliona Murphy called for future SLAN reports to collect data on harmful drinking by parents, so we can collect official data on the extent of parental alcohol problems.”

Ms Murphy said: “It is estimated that 61,000 to 104,000 Irish children are negatively affected by their parent’s drinking. These figures are a European estimate, as to date, no official figures have been compiled to account for the children living in these circumstances. They are effectively “invisible” to policy makers and social services.”

  “Once we know more about the number of children living in these circumstances, we can begin to respond appropriately and effectively to their needs.

  “Through the SLÁN survey we now know a lot more about Irish drinkers, for example:

  • A staggering 50% of drinkers reporting harmful drinking patterns
  • Only 16% of those reporting harmful drinking patterns say their drinking is harming their health, indicating the low level of awareness of the harms associated with alcohol use.

“SLÁN presents us with the opportunity to count the number of Irish children who live with parents reporting harmful drinking patterns. Let’s make sure we don’t waste this opportunity.”

“The Government announced earlier this year that it was to develop a National Substance Misuse Strategy to include alcohol and drugs. We would also like children and families put at the centre of the Strategy, as part of the Government’s ongoing efforts to recognise and respond to the needs of children affected by alcohol problems,” concluded Ms Murphy.//ENDS//

For further information or comment contact:

Communications Officer, Jo Fox 087 995 0186


Acting Director, Cliona Murphy 087 219 5723

Alternatively contact our offices at (01) 878 0610