Presentation to TD briefing on Public Health (Alcohol) Bill for Alcohol Action Ireland

Barnardos. (2016). Presentation to TD briefing on Public Health (Alcohol) Bill for Alcohol Action Ireland.
Barnardos welcomes the main provisions in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill which aim to tackle Ireland’s harmful relationship with alcohol and bring about significant improvements in public health, safety and wellbeing. The particular measures that will make a positive difference to children include: • Labelling: Clear labelling will help drinkers understand the health risks associated with alcohol, such as the risks of drinking during pregnancy as well as allowing people to track their alcohol and calorie intakes. • Restrict prices based promotions: Tactics such as 2for1 are designed to attract price sensitive customers such as students and those on low incomes. • Stricter rules around alcohol advertising and marketing such as 9pm watershed and having just descriptive details of products rather than selling positive imagery of drinking. • Introduce minimum pricing – prevent selling alcohol as a lost leader or selling strong alcohol very cheap. Barnardos has over 40 projects across the country offering a range of services to parents and children. Alcohol dependency is a common theme affecting many families we work with however, we have two specific projects in Tallaght and Dun Laoghaire where we work directly with parents affected by substance and / or alcohol abuse. We offer practical and emotional support to parents to improve their parenting capacity. Through our experience, we know most parents do not deliberately intend to harm their children or to develop behaviours that are likely to have a negative impact on them. They often feel guilty about their behaviour and ability to cope with their alcohol addiction. However, as alcohol is so widely available and culturally acceptable in Irish society it is perceived to be less harmful than illegal substances with the result that the effects of its misuse on children can be underestimated.