National alcohol charity says the latest increase in spending on booze reflects the urgent need for a comprehensive national alcohol strategy

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, has said figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), showing an increase in our total spend on alcohol in 2012 further highlight the urgent need to address our harmful relationship with alcohol.

“More than €6.3 billion is a huge figure for a relatively small country like Ireland to spend on alcohol in a year and it’s particularly worrying that our total spend on alcohol in 2012 increased for the second year in a row and was more than we spent on it than in any year since 2008,” said Conor Cullen, Communications Officer with Alcohol Action Ireland.

“To put this figure into context, at 7.7% of our total personal expenditure, it’s far more than twice what we spent on clothing and footwear last year. However, we must remember that alcohol is not a grocery or another everyday household item, even though this is how alcohol is currently marketed and sold throughout this country.

“Alcohol is a very harmful substance that creates a wide range of problems for us. Alcohol-related harm costs Ireland over an estimated €3.7 billion a year and that’s not counting the vast human costs, such as the three people dying every day from an alcohol-related illness, the many more people in our hospitals every day suffering from alcohol-related illnesses, communities plagued with anti-social behaviour and significant child welfare and protection issues, among many other alcohol-related problems.

“These latest figures from the CSO only serve to emphasise the crucial need for the full-range of alcohol-harm reduction measures currently being considered by Government, particularly key measures targeting the pricing, marketing and availability of alcohol in Ireland, which have the potential to reduce our alcohol consumption and the serious fall-out from our excessive drinking,” said Mr Cullen.

“We need all these measures to be introduced as part of a comprehensive national alcohol strategy as a matter of urgency if we are to finally change our harmful relationship with alcohol and make a real and lasting difference to people’s health, well-being and quality of life.”


For further information or comment please contact Alcohol Action Ireland Communications Officer Conor Cullen on 01-8780610 or 087-9950186.