Galway City Alcohol Survey Results

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1in4 (Galway)

  • 1 in 5 respondents report one or more harms due to their own drinking
  • 1 in 4 respondents report experiencing one or more harms as a result of someone else’s drinking

The results of a recent survey to assess behaviours, attitudes and awareness in relation to alcohol use in Galway City have been released. This survey of over 500 people (18 years and over) in Galway City has found that of those who drink (79%), over half (55%) were hazardous drinkers.

Fiona Donovan, Health Promotion and Improvement, HSE, who is a member of the Alcohol Forum explained that “the level of alcohol-related harm to individuals and to others is of particular concern with one in five (20%) reporting one or more harms due to their own drinking for example an accident, fight, problems in work, friendship, home-life; and one in four (25%) of all respondents reported experiencing one or more harms as a result of someone else’s drinking – family problems (15%) being the most common”.

Fiona Donovan added that; “although adults consider underage drinking as the number one problem in Galway City, worryingly many believe that it’s acceptable to give alcohol to 15-17 year olds at home.   The survey showed that 18% of people think it is acceptable to give a child aged 15 alcohol at home and 44% believe it is acceptable to give a child aged 16 to 17 alcohol at home.

Evidence shows that the most effective policies to reduce alcohol-related harm include minimum pricing for alcohol, restricting its availability and reducing its promotion. It is very positive to note that 74% of survey respondents were in favour of a ban on alcohol advertising that appeals to young people; and 62% agreed that there should be a minimum price for alcohol below which it cannot be sold. The new Public Health Alcohol Bill contains these evidence-based measures.

The vast majority (85%) of respondents in Galway city agreed that health professionals should ask all patients about their drinking habits as standard practice, yet only one in four (24%) were asked about their drinking habits in past 2 years. This provides an opportunity for health professionals to open up a conversation with patients about their alcohol consumption.

Thanking all the people who took the time to take part in the survey, Ms. Donovan concluded that “this local perspective on alcohol behaviour and attitudes is valuable for focusing on preventing and reducing alcohol-related harm in Galway City.   From a national perspective, the findings further highlight the need for the evidence based measures outlined in the new Public Health Alcohol Bill to be implemented to address the high levels of alcohol-related harm seen across all counties in Ireland.”

The survey was initiated by the Galway Healthy Cities Alcohol Forum as part of the Galway Healthy Cities Project, and funded by Health Promotion and Improvement, HSE. For a copy of the results and more information on the strategy, visit or contact 091 737262


  • The Galway City Strategy to Prevent and Reduce Alcohol Related Harm (2013 – 2017) was developed by the Galway Healthy Cities Alcohol Forum comprising of representatives from the HSE, Galway City Council, An Garda Siochana, Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board, Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force, NUI, Galway, Galway City Community Network and Galway Chamber. The Galway Healthy Cities Alcohol Forum is a sub group Galway Healthy Cities project who are involved in the leading out of the World Health Organization’s Healthy Cities Project in Galway City
  • Hazardous drinking is defined as a pattern of substance use that increases the risk of harmful consequences for the person
  • At a national level, the recent Healthy Ireland Survey (September 2015) reaffirmed that drinking is a core part of Irish life, but more worryingly that drinking to excess on a regular basis is also commonplace throughout the population. Four out of ten drinkers in Ireland drink to harmful levels on a monthly basis, with over a fifth doing so on a weekly basis. This behaviour is evident throughout the population and is not specifically limited to particular groups. Healthy Ireland Survey (2015). Summary of Findings:
  • Local Survey. The Galway Healthy Cities Alcohol Forum recognised the importance of getting Galway City specific data on behaviours, attitudes and awareness in relation to alcohol use.   To achieve this, the Forum commissioned research on alcohol behaviours, attitudes and awareness. The survey was an interviewer-administered survey with interviews conducted on a face-to-face basis with a representative sample of 500 individuals aged 18 years and over.   The survey is designed so that it can be repeated in the future to assess any changes over time.