Fiona Ryan, chief executive of Alcohol Action Ireland, said policymakers know what needs to be done to combat the alcohol problem, but “don’t want” to do it. Ryan made her statement at a seminar organised by Alcohol Action Ireland and Depaul Ireland, which works with the homeless.
Also speaking was health expert Professor Joe Barry, who said there was no evidence the Government shared the view that action needs to be taken.
Ryan concluded that the Government will make noises about acting, while at the same time wanting to maintain the revenue from alcohol consumption. She called the argument in favour of sports sponsorship ‘illogical’: “The argument is we need alcohol money to fund sports to keep young people away from alcohol.”
The chief executive of Alcohol Action Ireland pointed out that alcohol sponsorship was “not altruistic”, but a calculated trade off: “You give us access to the young male markets and in return we give you money. Are we willing to accept this trade off? The unfortunate collateral damage are children.”
Prof Barry of Trinity College Dublin said there was a growing view in society that something had to be done, but he added: “There is no evidence to show that is shared by the Government. That’s the worrying matter. Politicians have done very little; they have done a disservice to the State.”
In concordance with the above mentioned seminar, Alcohol Action Ireland released a statement which was published in the Irish Medical Times. The statement also criticizes the view of alcohol sports sponsorship as philanthropic, in fact describing it as ‘an effective means of promotion, a key part of the marketing mix to sell more alcohol’.
The letter also responds to an earlier statement by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar, describing how the Minister’s critique on the French law on alcohol marketing is oversimplified. [link=http://alcoholireland.ie/home_news/minister-has-scored-an-own-goal-on-alcohol-sponsorship-of-sport-aai-letter-published-in-irish-medical-times/]The full letter can be read here>>[/link]
Source: IrishExaminer.com 03/14/13