Vice Squad
Sunday, October 03, 2004
Increasing Alcohol Controls in Ireland

In 2003, alcohol consumption in Ireland fell by 6 percent. The Irish still drink heavily, however, and in spurts:
Binge drinking is the norm among young Irish men, who drink to excess on 60% of their nights out. Irish men are three times more likely than the European average to get into a drunken fight.

The number of off-licences selling spirits has doubled in the last 10 years and those selling wine have risen more than six times. With alcohol consumption rising almost 50% in the last decade, the Irish now spend €6bn on alcohol each year, drinking more per capita than any European country except Luxembourg.
The government is looking for ways to reduce alcohol-related problems, and a tax hike has been suggested, along with other measures:
The government's taskforce on alcohol made 78 recommendations last week, which the department of health is to consider. They include limiting the number of shops selling alcohol, introducing ID cards and labelling drinks with health warnings, ingredients and calories. The taskforce also said gaelic sports should try to find sponsors other than drinks companies.

The government is drafting legislation to limit the content of alcohol adverts and reduce children's exposure to them.
On an unrelated note, apologies for the light blogging of late. The academic year at the University of Chicago got underway last week, and that has had a direct (but I hope temporary) impact upon four-fifths of Vice Squad. The other fifth is on his way to Kyrgyzstan, of course.

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