ColumnistsPaddy Murray

Public’s outrage is out of control over drink crusade

Fergus Finlay
Fergus Finlay

I suppose we should have seen it coming.

Fergus Finlay is heading up a Stop Out Of Control Drinking campaign. It’s badly needed.

All you need to do is spend a weekend morning sidestepping pools of puke or a Saturday evening watching people, male and female, urinating on the streets, to realise that something has to be done.

Gone are the days when people went out and had a good night which ended with them being a little bit pissed.

Now, some people seem to believe that unless you’re almost footless before leaving the house, unless you a) fall b) puke c) wet yourself d) get into a fight or c) have sex with someone you’ve never met before, the night is a disaster.

And if you remember any of it the next morning, it’s been a complete waste of time.

So, really, it’s time the problem was tackled.


…well someone thought it would be a good idea to have a representative of the drinks industry on board.

Now, it’s not as if Fergus Finlay or, indeed, any of the others involved, weren’t aware of the fact that Diageo sells, well, sells drinks.

That’s probably why they were asked. They know something about the business.

But there is a very high horse up on some very high moral ground and there are lots of people piling on giving out yards (metres doesn’t sound quite the same) about it.

Excuse me if I’m wrong, but would it not make sense to have, say, someone from the motor industry on a forum discussing road safety or someone from the gambling business on a committee to discuss gambling or someone from a farming body on a commission looking into farm practices or a doctor on some body or other examining medical controversies to provide a degree of


And it’s not as if all the others on the campaign – Labour Relations Commission chief executive Kieran Mulvey, St Patrick’s Hospital chief executive Paul Gilligan, GP and health commentator Dr Ciara

Kelly, National Parents Council chief Aine Lynch and Simon Keogh of the Irish Rugby Union Players’ Association – are likely to end up getting locked in the unlikely event that the Diageo representative suggests they adjourn indefinitely and give it a lash in Temple Bar instead.

You know, sometimes I think we really need to get a grip.