Real cost of cheap drink this Christmas

Real cost of cheap drink this Christmas – families could end up paying the price

83c beer- same price as bar of chocolate

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol related issues, today warned that families could end up paying the price for cheap Christmas drink – with a bottle of beer in one leading supermarket selling for 83c, the same price as a bar of chocolate.  

Alcohol Action Ireland CEO Fiona Ryan said:

“There are significant reductions in the price of drink across all the major supermarkets chains. With families watching their money, these offers look attractive. The question is what is the real price of these savings?  

“We’re selling alcohol for the same price as a bar of chocolate in a country where alcohol is a contributory factor in one in three fatal crashes; one in four A&E injury admittances is alcohol-related and alcohol is a contributing factor in one in four of the most serious domestic violence cases.”

Ms Ryan pointed out that Christmas could be an especially difficult time for children living in families adversely affected by alcohol:

  “There are an estimated 61,000* children under the age of 15 living in families in Ireland adversely affected by alcohol.   Now alcohol prices are being slashed just in time for Christmas – what kind of Christmas will these children have?”

Ms Ryan said she welcomed the Department of Justice’s intention to introduce Section 16 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act next year which is intended to crack down on types of of promotions such as two for one offers.  

“The Department of Justice is to be congratulated on taking the initiative to crack down on irresponsible promotions. The earliest the legislation can be introduced is mid-March and our hope is that the Government takes the earliest opportunity to make this legislation a reality.”

For more information:

Contact Fiona Ryan (01) 878 0108/ 087 219 5723


*Taken from Alcohol Related Harm in Ireland/ A Health Service Executive Report – April 2008

A report to the European Union on alcohol problems in the family, estimated the number of children in Ireland aged under 15 who are living with problem drinking parents as between 61,000 and 104,600. A Danish medical study was used for the lower estimate and a Finnish model for the upper.  

It should be noted that the British Cabinet Office Strategy Unit/ Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England estimates the number of children living in families adversely affected by alcohol to be on in ten