Leaving Cert: Charity criticises lack of regulation for drink deals

Parents urged to talk have ‘frank and honest’ discussions about alcohol consumption

Alcohol Action Ireland said social media posts from night clubs and bars this week highlights the widespread use of drink promotions. Photograph: iStock

Alcohol Action Ireland said social media posts from night clubs and bars this week highlights the widespread use of drink promotions. Photograph: iStock

 

A lack of regulation for drinks deals in nightclubs has been criticised ahead of the release of the Leaving Cert results on Wednesday.

Alcohol Action Ireland said social media posts from night clubs and bars this week highlights “the widespread use of such promotional tools”.

It said admission charges “typically co-related to a specific number of available drinks; a variety of drinks being available to a certain admission price, or packages of reduced priced drinks being made available to certain groups.”

The charity has called on the Government and the Oireachtas to pass the legislation outlined in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill. Among a number of measures to reduce harmful drinking, the bill proposes restrictions on price-based alcohol promotions.

“Priced based promotions continue to be used extensively to attract young people, who are keenly price-sensitive and often deliberately targeted by these promotions, [which] encourage high risk, harmful drinking that is such a threat to their health and wellbeing.” said Alcohol Action Ireland in a statement.

Per capita alcohol consumption in Ireland was 11.46 litres of pure alcohol per person aged 15+ in 2016, according to figures provided by Alcohol Action Ireland.

The Health Research Board has pointed out that this is the equivalent of 46 bottles of vodka, 130 bottles of wine, or 498 pints of beer per person aged 15+ when adjusted to account for the one fifth of Irish adults who abstain from alcohol completely.

Meanwhile parents have been urged to talk to their children about drinking ahead of the Leaving Cert exam results being released on Wednesday.

Drinkaware has encouraged parents to have frank and honest discussions about alcohol consumption with their children in anticipation of post-results revelry. Drinkaware is a body funded by the alcohol industry.

“The post-results celebrations do not have to be synonymous with the now expected reports about drunken teenagers spilling out of nightclubs across the country,” said Dr Liam Twomey, chief medical officer at Drinkaware.“We simply should not accept that the two go hand in hand. We should not presume that young people will drink to excess.”

He said it was important that students marking their achievements, especially those concerned with their results,”do not use alcohol as a way to blow off steam”

“Drinking to excess can have a serious impact on a young person’s physical and mental health,” he said

He urged parent to get involved in their children’s plans for celebrations ,especially in relation to alcohol.

The HSE last week expressed concern over excessive drinking on results night, in particular about alcohol promotions targeted at those receiving their results. It warned about event pages encouraging attendees to “celebrate your results or drown your sorrows” with “vodka boats” or free drinks tokens.

The HSE website AskaboutAlcohol.ie offers support for parents in relation to their children and alcohol.