Statement from Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Labour Party, Dublin North Central
Wednesday, 8th February 2012
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has said that he greatly welcomes the publication of the report of the 'National Substance Misuse Strategy' steering group and that the report's key recommendations should be implemented by Government.
The Dublin North Central TD was speaking after the steering group outlined several initiatives in which to tackle the enormous problem of alcohol abuse in this country.
"One of the key recommendations of the steering group was a total ban on all alcohol sponsorship of sporting or large outdoor events. This in my opinion is a very worthwhile proposal because if we are to tackle the abuse of alcohol in this country then we must break the link between alcohol and sport. The fact that the drinks industry can market a substance like alcohol by sponsoring major sporting events, and specifically target young people by directly linking their product to a particular sport is something which really needs to be addressed.
"Everybody knows that we have a terrible relationship with alcohol in this country and it is costing our exchequer billions every year. Our A&E departments admit countless numbers of young people every weekend, and a vast majority of the instances of crime on weekends are drink related. This is putting enormous pressure on the areas of health and justice, which we just do not have the resources to cope in this time of fiscal strife.
"I would echo the sentiments of Minister Roisín Shortall who stated recently that after years of the previous government only paying lip service to this issue, the time is right now for all of us to change our attitudes to alcohol in this country."