Public Alcohol Bill outlines responsible approach to tackling scourge of alcohol abuse – Mitchell
Sinn Féin Children and Youth Affairs Spokesperson Denise Mitchell TD has said the ensuring that children and young people are aware of the dangers associated with alcohol misuse is key to responsible consumption of alcohol in later years.
Deputy Mitchell was speaking during the Dáil debate on the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, during which she criticised the normalising of alcohol consumption:
“We constantly see sports teams and competitions sponsored by beers and spirit companies. And very clearly that is targeting younger people.
“Every time a foreign head of state visits the country, a pint of stout is shoved into his or her hand for the photograph to be splashed across every newspaper in Ireland. It has gotten to a ridiculous level.”
She said that alcohol should not be treated as just another grocery and noted various reports which linked child neglect and abuse to alcohol abuse by parents:
“The burden of problem drinking is not solely on the person themselves. It is shared with their family and friends, and it is placed on our own public services too.
“This Bill is about taking a responsible approach to the scourge of alcohol misuse in this State. It is about protecting young people; discouraging the glamorisation of alcohol and increasing public awareness about the health and social problems associated with alcohol misuse. It is also about ensuring that retailers act in a responsible manner.”