Catholic bishops have said that the “glamourising of alcohol” through advertising, promotions and sponsorship can adversely affect the behaviour of young people and even thwart well-intentioned public policy.
The bishops said that if the availability of alcohol at retail checkouts was curtailed, there may follow “a lowering of alcohol-related harm to children, families and communities”.
The statement was issued on Wednesday following the Autumn 2017 general meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, which took place at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
The bishops said the “human devastation” caused by alcohol has been “a blight on our society for many years” and one that the Catholic Church has challenged for generations. Since its inception in 1997, the experience of the Irish Bishops’ Drugs Initiative (IBDI) at parish level is that alcohol continues to hold a tight grip on our national character.
In their statement the bishops urge the Government to expedite the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, 2015, which covers issues such as pricing, labelling, advertising and the separation of alcohol products in retail outlets.