Catholic bishops criticise ‘glamourising’ of alcohol

Bishops highlight the ‘human devastation’ caused to Irish society by alcohol

The ‘glamourising of alcohol’ through advertising, promotions and sponsorship can adversely affect the behaviour of young people, Catholic bishops have said. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

The ‘glamourising of alcohol’ through advertising, promotions and sponsorship can adversely affect the behaviour of young people, Catholic bishops have said. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

The “glamourising of alcohol” through advertising, promotions and sponsorship can adversely affect the behaviour of young people, Catholic bishops have said.

If the availability of alcohol at retail checkouts was curtailed, there may follow “a lowering of alcohol-related harm to children, families and communities”, the bishops said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement was issued following the autumn 2017 general meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

A number of issues were addressed during the proceedings, including the “sanctity of human life”, the safeguarding of children, the World Meeting of Families event in 2018, Northern Ireland and Trócaire.

The bishops said the “human devastation” caused by alcohol has been “a blight on our society for many years”.

They urged the Government to expedite the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, 2015, which covers issues such as pricing, labelling, advertising and the separation of alcohol products in retail outlets.

The bishops also offered prayers for those killed and injured in the Las Vegas shooting this week, asking that survivors and victims’ loved ones “may find strength and healing in their faith and receive the support of compassionate caregivers as they begin to recover from the trauma of their physical and emotional wounds”.