Irish teenagers are the second most sober in the EU, a Fine Gael backbencher has claimed as he rejected all the major elements of the Government’s Bill to tackle Ireland’s alcohol crisis.
Dublin North West TD Noel Rock also claimed that minimum unit pricing, a bid to prevent low cost sales of alcohol, was based on “middle class guilt with working class consequences”.
He said people could succumb to alcoholism just as easily on a high income as a low one but the €2.50 increase in a bottle of wine to €8 might not affect him or a Government Minister “but it could mean an awful lot to an individual for whom it is a once-off treat as part of their groceries”.
Mr Rock was speaking during the ongoing Dáil debate on the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill which introduces a minimum unit price, health warnings on labels including the link to cancer, advertising and promotion restrictions, and separation of alcohol from other products in supermarkets and other shops.
The Fine Gael backbencher also claimed that European teenagers were on average 25 per cent more likely to binge drink than Irish teenagers, but did not cite the source of his statistics.
Former minister of state for health Marcella Corcoran Kennedy said, however, it was no surprise that the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland “flat out” denies any link with cancer even though the World Health Organisation has classified alcohol as a group 1 (most serious) carcinogen, “similar to tobacco, arsenic and asbestos”.
Source: Marie O'Halloran, The Irish Times, 08/02/18