Donegal revellers urged to celebrate Arthur’s day responsibly

From Donegal Now

Thousands of people across Donegal will be flocking to their local tomorrow to celebrate Arthur ’s Day, a fun-filled day of music, and craic in honour one of Ireland ’s most prestigious entrepreneurs. However, as the day is based around the sale and consumption of Guinness, Alcohol Action Ireland have expressed their concern over the unprecedented amount of support that Arthur ’s Day has received.

AAI is a national charity for alcohol-related issues and they are currently dumbfounded by the level of official support for Arthur ’s Day, which takes place tomorrow. CEO Fiona Ryan has expressed her disappointment at the overwhelming promotion of this year ’s event and is urging people across Donegal to be careful and ensure that they drink in a responsible manner:

 “From a public health perspective it is slightly bewildering. On Monday the National Advisory Council on Drugs (NCAD) released its report on alcohol prevalence, which found that half of the population are drinking at levels harmful to their health and that almost one third of 18 to 24-year-olds who drink, consume nine standard drinks in a typical drinking occasion. On the same day a senior Government minister was photographed promoting  ‘Arthur ’s Day ’ while official tourism bodies are also heavily promoting the event, ” said Ms Ryan.

 “Considering our problematic relationship with alcohol and the fact that it costs us an estimated  €3.7 billion to deal with alcohol-related harm ( €1.2 billion on health,  €1.19 billion on crime and an estimated half a billion Euros in lost productivity) then why are official resources being spent to promote a corporate alcohol marketing event, whose sole aim is to sell more alcohol and increase brand recognition for Diageo products? ”

 “It is almost impossible for children and teenagers to avoid alcohol marketing. Even if we accept that the alcohol industry is not deliberately targeting very young people, the fact is that advertising of alcohol in public spaces will be seen by children and teenagers. In the case of sports and big music festivals, big alcohol brands are effectively given uninterrupted access to lucrative youth markets, so exposure to the brand isn ’t opportunistic like passing a billboard, it ’s targeted, ” said Ms Ryan.