Madam, - Further to the recent debate in these pages on Ireland's drink problem, I suggest that a conspiracy exists among the owners of Dublin hostelries to foster an unhealthy attitude to drink. On a recent visit to a Dublin "superpub" with a large group of revellers, all of whom were consuming copious amounts of alcohol, I was the only one without a glass. I was left thirsty despite requesting water several times from the floor staff.

During this time they were bringing drinks to and collecting glasses from my friends. My requests and queries regarding the status of my water were met with disdain.

As "designated driver" I found this attitude hard to stomach, particularly as I was providing a service for the pub in question. Attitudes such as this contribute to the continuation of Ireland's deep-rooted, negative and abusive drinking culture. - Yours, etc.,


Loreto Grange,


Co Wicklow.

... ... * ... * ... * ... ...

Madam, - While driving from Rathfarnham to Dublin city centre a few days ago, I noted no fewer than 10 motorists using hand-held mobile phones while driving. Then, during a short walk through the city, I side-stepped six pools of vomit.

Finally, while waiting to cross the road at College Green, I saw two young women lying on the pavement, apparently unconscious from alcohol or drugs or a combination of the two, while we seasoned Dubliners casually threw them a glance and passed them by.

It is only a few weeks since a Prime Time report caused us to reel in unison at the stark reality of alcohol abuse in Ireland. Just a short time before that we were given very stern warnings about the illegality of using a mobile phone while driving a car. Vengeance was vowed and we all pledged to mend our ways.

How quickly we choose to forget. We are a nation of adept pontificators with extremely short memories. - Yours, etc.,


Hillside Park,


Dublin 16.