Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.10 18 Mar 2020


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New figures indicate that alcohol consumption by Irish people dropped slightly last year.

The data was released by Revenue, looking at provisional alcohol clearances and receipts for 2019.

This indicates that Ireland’s alcohol consumption remains high at 10.78 litres per capita.

Receipts for the year ended show a 0.05% decline - however when an estimated population data for 2019 is applied the figures for consumption, as a per capita, stand at 10.78 litres.

Alcohol Action Ireland say this is indicative of a small but encouraging reduction – 2.13% year on year.

Wine saw a 1.43% consumption increase, spirits a further 0.66% increase year on year, while beer saw a 2.0% decrease and cider fell by 1.74%.

There has been a 20% rise in spirits consumption over a five-year period from 2015 to 2019.

"This latest data continues to demonstrate the long way we, as a nation, have to travel to bring our drinking patterns down within a low-risk approach to alcohol consumption", Alcohol Action Ireland says.

"Ireland’s drinkers consume 68% more than the global average rate of alcohol consumption and some 45% above Ireland’s low risk drinking guidelines".

It says over 2,790 deaths per annum in Ireland are alcohol-related and public health services continue to spend in excess of €1.5bn on alcohol-related illnesses and incidences.

While more than 200,000 children continue to live in family circumstances where alcohol is having a negative impact on their development and their lives.

Eunan McKinney is Alcohol Action’s head of communications.

"The most encouraging aspect of this data is that perhaps the message of alcohol related harms is beginning to have some modest impact on people’s behaviour.

"The Public Health Alcohol Act continues to hold many of the key policy instruments to bring real and sustainable reductions.

"And while some aspects have been advanced, and implemented, many crucial aspects remain stalled such as Minimum Unit Pricing, which as demonstrated in Scotland, has the potential to drive sustainable reductions in consumption.

"We would hope that a new government will expedite the full implementation of the act."

He adds: "With the country battling the coronavirus pandemic it is important that all the focus of our public health preventative teams are focused on managing this unprecedented public health crisis."


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Alcohol-related Illness Alcohol Action Ireland Alcohol Consumption Eunan McKinney Irish People Revenue

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