New research shows that 58% of the drinking done by men in Ireland
is binge drinking, the London Press Association reported. The
study conducted for Irelands Health Promotion Unit further found
that 48% of all men and 16% of women in Ireland binge drink at
least once a week. Ireland is the highest of all European countries
in terms of binge drinking. In the UK the percentage of men who
binge drink is 40%, while in France it is 9%.
In addition, more problems, such as falls, unintentional sex and
public order offences, were linked to drinkers in Ireland than
any other European country. Irish Health Minister, Michael Martin
said that a number of initiatives are underway to address binge
drinking: The clear message from this research is that we must
change our drinking patterns we need to cut down and slow our
The health minister recently distributed a Guide to Rethinking
your Drinking, as well as a new advertising campaign that will
be shown before movies in cinemas throughout the country. In addition,
the new single by Irish artist Sinead OConnor will include a
booklet with information on alcohol.
A Strategic Task Force on Alcohol was set up in 2002. The Minister
for Health & Children has now established an interdepartmental
group to progress these and to coordinate responses.
The Health Promotion Unit in association with the Drinks Industry
Group of Ireland, CERT, the licensed Vinters Federation of Ireland
has developed a training programme for bar staff on the responsible
serving of alcohol
. The course was launched in 2001. The RSA
programme has been extended, and from January 2003 has been implemented
and administrated by the National Hospitality Training body, CERT.
Further research includes A Framework for Developing a College
Alcohol Policy, A & E Survey, Survey on attitudes to Alcohol
in Ireland, College Survey, and a report on The Impact of
Alcohol Advertising on Teenagers in Ireland.