Charity calls for ‘map’ of alcohol retail outlets across country to assess concentration and impact on local communities

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol related issues, today welcomed the new Ballymun initiative to reduce alcohol-related   harm saying the strategy tackles “head on” the relationship between alcohol-related harm and the ready availability of alcohol.

Alcohol Action Ireland Director Fiona Ryan said: “Both Ballymun Local Drugs Task Force and Safer Ballymun Community Safety Forum should be congratulated on their innovative community-based strategy to reduce alcohol-related harm. The strategy provides a basis to initiate a mapping exercise across the country detailing the number and density of alcohol-retail units in order to assess where outlets are at greatest concentration and the effects that concentration has on surrounding local communities.

“Alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms are directly related to each other – the Ballymun Community Alcohol Strategy tackles that relationship ‘head on’ by addressing the number and density of alcohol retail outlets as well as other vital aspects such as policing and enforcement, community awareness and attitude change will all be vital to making real change happen.”

Ms Ryan went on to say:

“Every seven hours in Ireland someone dies from an alcohol related illness. We consume on average the equivalent of 490  pints or 129 bottles of wine or  46  bottles of vodka per adult a year. Over half of all Irish drinkers engage in harmful drinking patterns.   As a country, we need to reduce our total alcohol consumption levels in order to reduce alcohol related harms such as A&E admissions, crime and public order, physical and mental health problems.”

Some statistics on alcohol-related harm in Ireland:

  • Every seven hours, someone in Ireland dies from an alcohol-related illness
  • Over half of all Irish drinkers have a harmful pattern of drinking, that’s 4 in 10 women and 7 in 10 men who drink
  • The average amount of alcohol consumed by every person in the country aged 15+ was 12.4litres of pure alcohol in 2008 – which amounts to490pints or 129 bottles of wine or46bottles of vodka per adult
  • Alcohol-related problems cost Ireland an estimated €2.65 billion in 2003: that’s a cost of €650 for each man, woman and child


Note to Editor:

Alcohol Action Ireland is a member of the National Substance Misuse Strategy steering group. The strategy, which combines drug and alcohol policy in a single policy initiative, is due to be published in October.

Alcohol Action Ireland works to create awareness around alcohol-related harms in Ireland and to promote policies to reduce that harm. We take a public health approach to alcohol related harm which means promoting policies to improve the health of the entire population and to reduce health inequities among population groups.

All statistics available from:

For further information or comment contact:

Alcohol Action Ireland Communications Officer Cathy Gray (01) 878 0610 /   087 995 0186