A study by the Health Research Board of fire deaths found that alcohol was a factor in more than half of fatal fires in Ireland.
Minimum unit pricing is a key component of the Public Health Alcohol Act but it requires a separate government decision.
Chief executive of Alcohol Action Ireland, Dr Sheila Gilheany, said people in Ireland were drinking at very high and risky levels.
“This has all sorts of consequences for physical and mental health and, unfortunately, can also be a factor in such tragic incidents as outlined in the HRB report,” said Dr Gilheany.
“The measures contained in the act, implemented coherently will reduce hospital admissions, decrease risky consumption and, therefore, risky behaviour and will save lives,” she said.
Minister for Health Simon Harris is to seek Cabinet approval on the minimum unit price of alcohol by the end of the year.
Source: Evelyn Ring, Irish Examiner, 16th October 2019