Warning against "ocean of alcohol" consumed in Irish homes during pandemic 3 months ago

Warning against "ocean of alcohol" consumed in Irish homes during pandemic

Alcohol consumption dropped only slightly since Covid-19, despite most licenced premises shutting their doors.

A warning has been issued by health charity Alcohol Action Ireland against the "ocean of alcohol" consumed in Irish homes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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It comes after 2020 Revenue data showed Ireland’s alcohol consumption during the Covid crisis only fell by a little over 6% to 10.07 litres per capita, despite most licenced premises being closed.

This is a slight reduction on the 2019 alcohol consumption figure of 10.78 litres per capita.

Net Alcohol excise receipts for the year ended show only a 2.4% decline, suggesting that the public finances have experienced little impact even with the pandemic.

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national independent advocate for reducing alcohol harm, said they were disappointed with what the data showed and called on the government to introduce measures to help curb excess drinking.

Commenting on the figures, the charity's head of communications Eunan McKinney said in a statement: "The data for the year 2020 highlights the extraordinary shift that has taken place among Ireland’s drinking population and the ocean of alcohol that has poured into the nation’s homes.

"From the beginning of the Covid crisis we have been urging government to act on this consequence.

"The introduction of minimum unit pricing on alcohol products, which primarily applies to the off-trade who have experienced a profit boom, would act as some curb on what undoubtedly will be the source of many problems to come.

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"A temporary lifestyle may now be permanent habit. [In the] meantime 200,000 children every day have to navigate the chaos of parental problem alcohol use."

According to the data, there was a 12% consumption increase on wine, while spirits saw a 0.7% rise.

Meanwhile, beer consumption dropped by 21% and cider saw a 11.4% reduction.