THE Catholic bishops are backing plans for curbs on alcohol advertising and sponsorship in sport.
Speaking in Dundalk, the vice chair of the Irish Bishops' Drugs
Initiative, Bishop Eamonn Walsh, urged Irish society to support new
proposals on alcohol policy that Primary Care Minister Alex White is to bring to the Cabinet next week.
He welcomed Mr White's statement on Monday regarding the marketing of alcohol.
time has come, Bishop Walsh warned, for Irish society to stop standing
idly by and allowing conditions that expose young people to drugs and
alcohol misuse to continue.
Asking what could be done, he responded: "We can join forces and say enough is enough!"
bishop also suggested that society needed to find imaginative ways of
protecting children from being used as drinks advertisements on sports
Bishop Walsh was at Dundalk Institute of Technology to
launch a pocketbook of prayers and reflections from the Irish Bishops'
He suggested that only strong public
determination to address alcohol abuse would enable legislators "to
tackle the many vested interests" that gain from corporate sponsorship
Mr White's proposals need to address minimum pricing for
alcohol products and curb the link between sport and alcohol
advertising and sponsorship, he said.
The launch comes ahead of
Temperance Sunday (today), which precedes Ash Wednesday, the
beginning of Lent, when many people give up alcohol for six weeks.
Every night 2,000 beds in Irish acute hospitals are occupied due to alcohol-related illnesses.
Irish Bishops' Drugs Initiative works in over 250 parishes through
1,000 volunteers to assist communities to address the challenges of
In 2007, alcohol-related problems in Ireland were estimated to cost €3.7bn, according to Alcohol Action Ireland.