Alcohol consumption and the pandemic


Sir, – You quote new research in the Addiction medical journal which found that “Ireland is one of only two countries in Europe where alcohol consumption did not decline” during the Covid-19 pandemic and that “average consumption remained unchanged” during the period (News, June 9th).

It’s difficult to take these findings seriously when you consider that figures published last month by the Revenue Commissioners showed that alcohol sales have plummeted during the Covid pandemic. In the first quarter of 2021, the sale of all types of alcohol – beer, cider, wine and spirits – fell by 19.7 per cent.

If sales have fallen by a fifth, then how could consumption have remained steady, as the new research claims?

Are we to believe that lockdown boredom has led to a sudden explosion in home brewing and the operation of poitín stills across the country?

I would have expected you to have applied a more rigorous and questioning analysis of the research you quoted.

The only thing which has “remained unchanged” during Covid is the puritanical attitude of the political and public health systems to even the most moderate and responsible consumption of alcohol. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 3.