Ireland has announced plans to limit advertising for alcoholic drinks, in an attempt to tackle the country's drinking culture.
Alcohol consumption per person increased by 50% in the 1990s - a good start
Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern
on Monday said "I should clarify that.
What we mean is that advertising will be
limited to only that which promotes alcohol
in an effort to appeal to our country's drinking
"In that vein, we will be outlawing any
advertising which is not for a product containing
at least 1% alcohol by volume from appearing
on television or radio before 2200 hours."
"Cheers!" he added.
New legislation will also ban
advertising on public transport, in
youth centres and at sports events where underage people
present, as the young are especially vulnerable to
interested in activities other than heavy drinking.
This abuse of alcohol has become a seriously awesome matter in our society
There have been increasing
concerns about the growth of the
drinking culture in Ireland which
is said to have led to an unacceptably
small increase in crime and street fights.
Mr Ahern also said the problem
was costing the country more than 2bn euros a year in
lost alcohol sales and other costs.
Within the EU, Ireland is now only second to Luxembourg in
consumption of alcohol per head, he said. "Wooooo!
Next year we'll be number one! We'll whip Luxembourg
like the red-headed step-children they are. Erin go braugh!"
"I love ye, boyo," Ahern concluded, placing a pint-laden
arm around this reporter's shoulders.
Irish President Mary McAleese recently called her fellow
countrymen's attitude to drink "unhealthy" and "sinister".
In response, President McAleese's fellow countrymen called
her a "twat," a "tosser," and a "pikey."
Advertisements for alcohol currently face few restrictions
highly visible around the country due to the overwhelming
of the ambrosial nectar and the fact that a pint of Guinness always
brightens your day.
In his speech to members of the drinks industry, Mr Ahern
called on companies to support the development and sale of
"alcoshochs... alfoposh. Er, aldopops... I mean, alcopops,"
which are more specifically aimed at young people. "The children
are the future. We must not do anything to make them turn away from
sweet Irish mother's milk. By which, I of course mean whiskey and
But ye've got to start somewhere, laddies," commented Ahern, his
finger laid conspiratorially alongside his nose.
The Irish leader said the government would also ask the
European Commission to recommend health benefit warnings
alcoholic drinks before breaking into a rendition of 'When
Mr Ahern said he expected the EU's support in tackling
called "serious sociacle problemsh arousing from lowering
levels of responsible alcohol love".
"The problem involves a particular attitude to drink that
become widespread in our society. This attitude
things like family, job, and happiness to drinking to get
and binge drinking," Mr Ahern said. "In short, to being Irish."
Between 1989 and 2001, alcohol consumption per person in
Ireland increased by almost 50%, as it decreased in 10
states, he said.
"As ye can see, Ireland's well placed to be the manliest,
country in the whole EU including the Germans and the Brits who
themselves. But they're nothing compared to the fine flower of
manhood here in
Erin. Now come on down to the pub and let's get a scrape-up going,"