Press Release

Minister of State Sean Power T.D., welcomes the Report of the Working Group on Alcohol Misuse : “Working Together to Reduce the Harms Caused by Alcohol Misuse”

Minister of State Sean Power T.D. today, May 26th 2006, welcomed the Report of the Working Group on Alcohol Misuse, “Working Together to Reduce the Harms Caused by Alcohol Misuse” which was submitted by the Social Partnership Steering Group under Sustaining Progress.

The Working Group on Alcohol Misuse was established in July 2005 under the Sustaining Progress Special Initiative on Alcohol and Drugs Misuse. The Group was chaired by Mr Peter Cassells and was comprised of Social Partners and relevant Government Departments and agencies. The aim of the Group was to agree on a programme of actions to deliver targeted results in relation to underage drinking, binge drinking and drink driving. It concentrated on the potential for effectively mobilising State, social partners and other organisations around a programme of actions that would contribute to a reduction in alcohol misuse.

The Report identifies a number of key areas and actions when combined and delivered through a community mobilisation programme could help tackle the high risk drinking problems of underage drinking, harmful drinking and drink-driving. The four areas are (i) intervention and treatment (ii) education and awareness (iii) alternative facilities and (iv) compliance and enforcement, and recommends the establishment of a number of pilot community mobilisation projects of this nature. Other recommendations include the development of workplace alcohol misuse policies, the development of a code of practice for the off-trade sector, and recommendations in relation to drink-driving.

Minister Power notes that a key conclusion of the work of the Group is the importance of an integrated approach, recognising that no one action will be successful on its own and that the type of cultural change required will take time and a combined effort from all. Progressing implementation will require commitment of time and resources, not just by Government Departments and agencies, but also by Social Partners and other relevant stakeholders at national and local level, and Minister Power looks forward to working in partnership with the HSE and all stakeholders in implementing the actions in this Report.

Read the report