Home > Seanad: Eireann debate. Order of Business (Continued) [Alcohol events].

[Oireachtas] Seanad: Eireann debate. Order of Business (Continued) [Alcohol events]. (27 Sep 2012)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/seanad...

Seanad Éireann Debate


……Senator Catherine Noone: Today is Arthur's Day. I have no doubt about the economic benefit to pubs around the city and country with its arrival on the scene. It is to be welcomed by Guinness because the brand has been somewhat in decline in recent years so it is positive from that perspective. However, I have serious reservations as to whether we needed another day with an excuse to go drinking. It starts at one minute before 6 p.m. Some gong goes off and everybody has to be in the pub and raise their glass to Arthur or Martha or whoever.


However, last year and the year before I witnessed people who were ossified on a Thursday evening when they clearly had work the next day. I wonder if it is really necessary when, on St. Patrick's Day and so many other days we drink to excess. I have seen people behaving in a most inappropriate manner on such days. It would be more our business to come up with other days that could be celebrated in this country without an emphasis on drink…..


….Senator Eamonn Coghlan: In the fall-out from the resignation of the Minister of State, Deputy Róisín Shortall, yesterday, I call on the Leader to ensure that her mission to eradicate the misuse of alcohol in this country continues. Yesterday, Senator Mullins asked for a half day debate on this in the House. I strongly support the former Minister of State's stance on this issue. Having travelled the world over the past 40 years to attend numerous events, I have never witnessed in Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand or the United States the misuse of alcohol that occurs in Ireland. It is a very sad reflection on the culture in Ireland, whether it is the junior certificate, leaving certificate, St. Patrick's Day, concerts or sporting events. Senator Noone pointed out that today, 27 September, is Arthur's day. What a poor reflection it is on this country and Guinness to promote the use of alcohol around the world.


A number of days ago I was passing through a third level campus and as I passed a particular building I heard screams and roars from young students at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. I found out it was a bar on the campus which the students frequented. Having lived in the United States for almost 20 years I noticed a dramatic change in the use or misuse of alcohol when the legal drinking age was changed from 18 to 21 years of age. There was strict enforcement of identification when one wished to buy alcohol, whether one was 21, 31, 51 or 61 years old, and if one did not have identification, one did not get the alcohol. Now that the Minister of State has resigned her position I call on Members of the Seanad to take a leadership role in debating this and in introducing strict laws and regulation in this country to change the culture in this country to one we are really proud of, our Irish heritage, rather than a drinking culture…..


[For the full debate, click on this link to the Oireachtas website]

Seanad Éireann Debate
Thursday, 27 September 2012

Repository Staff Only: item control page