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Report finds average drinker in Ireland consumed equivalent of 235 cans of beer last year

Chair of Alcohol Action Ireland, Professor Frank Murray MD, said Ireland pays an “enormous human and economic price for its continued high level of alcohol use”.

Stock image: Krisanapong Detraphiphat

Paul HylandIndependent.ie

LAST year, the average drinker in Ireland consumed the equivalent of 235 cans of beer – or 444 cans per household.

That’s according to Alcohol Action Ireland’s latest Alcohol Market Review, which examines the scale of alcohol use, and the financial rewards captured by what it described as “a small group of monopolistic national and international alcohol producers”.

The report said 11 bottles of spirits (37.5pc ABV, 70cl) per drinker, or 21 bottles per household were also consumed last year.

And it calculated there were 39 bottles of wine (12.5pc ABV, 75cl) per drinker, or 74 bottles per household and 35 cans of cider (4.5pc ABV, 500ml) per drinker, or 66 cans per household.

Alcohol Action Ireland, an independent advocate for reducing alcohol harm, said the review highlights market revenues of €5.5bn in 2021 and demonstrates “who benefits and how, only a handful of companies are monopolising the off-trade receipts of €2.505bn”.

The organisation said Ireland’s alcohol industry spent an estimated €116m last year on advertising, which it said “cost our society” an estimated €1.9bn in health-related alcohol costs, or 11pc of the overall health budget.

Chair of Alcohol Action Ireland, Professor Frank Murray MD, said Ireland pays an “enormous human and economic price for its continued high level of alcohol use”.

“While some progress has been made by establishing meaningful alcohol controls, much more needs to be done,” he said.

“Our ambition is that future governments will recognise, as has been done in the past with tobacco and road safety, that a greater strategic coherence must be brought to public health alcohol policy and expenditure, and that this, along with better access to timely alcohol services, can be achieved if an appropriately resourced Alcohol Office is established to co-ordinate such ambition.”

Alcohol Action said the review also demonstrates “how little” dedicated funding is allocated to much-needed specific alcohol interventions, programmes or services, and indicates there is a “significant gap” between treatment demand and actual provision.


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