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Ireland Ranks Third Spot Globally for Pub-Goers and Drinkers, New Study Shows!

The Health Research Board says one person dies every day from liver disease in Ireland.

Dublin: According to a report by the Health Research Board, Ireland ranks third globally in terms of alcohol consumption and the number of pubs, alongside alarming statistics regarding alcohol-related deaths, illnesses, and expenditure. The report sheds light on the troubling trend of parents permitting underage drinking at home.

Statistics indicate that two-thirds of individuals aged over 15 consume alcohol, with a five percent increase in abstention over four years. Despite alcohol prices rising, spending on alcohol remains unchanged, with Ireland ranking eighth out of 30 countries in alcohol expenditure.

Tragically, alcohol-related diseases rank as the eighth leading cause of death in Ireland, with one death attributed to alcohol-related liver disease each day, and one in five individuals requiring emergency hospitalisation.

These findings, drawn from data collected by the University of Sheffield across 25 countries, position Ireland behind only Slovakia and Hungary in terms of pub density. Remarkably, three out of four Irish residents have a pub within walking distance, and the country ranks fourth in the number of bars, nightclubs, and beer gardens per capita.

The average Irish person over 15 consumes 9.9 litres of alcohol annually, equivalent to 37 bottles of vodka, 104 bottles of wine, or 400 pints of beer. This surpasses the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s average of 8.6 litres per person.

The report underscores the hazardous drinking culture prevalent in society, exacerbated by a high concentration of licensed establishments, which operate indiscriminately across affluent and disadvantaged areas, contributing to societal harm. Over the past decade, there has been an 8% decline in pubs alongside an 8% rise in off-licenses.

The report raises alarm about parents allowing underage drinking at home, which fosters harmful drinking patterns and long-term consequences.

Despite these concerning trends, there are positive indicators such as an increase in teetotalism and a decrease in per capita alcohol consumption, signalling a potential shift in societal attitudes towards drinking.

Paul Moynihan, former president of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, emphasises the role of pubs as community centres, advocating for responsible drinking practices. As a pub owner himself, he stresses the importance of socialising responsibly within these communal spaces.

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