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RE: Arthurs day.....Time To Tackle the Drinks Industry in Ireland

category national | miscellaneous | other press author Thursday September 27, 2012 09:12author by youth worker Report this post to the editors

Call for action

From The Irish Times , September 24 2012

Twelve months ago I gave a presentation on the subject of youth drug and alcohol abuse to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children. I highlighted the huge pressures facing Ireland’s youth, including peer pressure, bullying, unemployment and emigration, all within a national atmosphere of despair over our collective future. I focused on the widespread culture of binge drinking in Ireland, which appears to be often ignored, accepted or normalised by many parents, publicans, politicians and law enforcers.

I pointed to the entrenched culture of alcohol abuse at the heart of Irish life and the fact we know this is damaging our health, our society and our economy.

Research tells us alcohol abuse adversely affects rates of mental ill health and suicide, road accidents, A E admissions, workplace participation, public disorder offences, rape, domestic violence, and family cohesion. HSE statistics show alcohol is estimated to cost the economy €3.7 billion per year.

I called on politicians to show courage and leadership. Central to this is facing down the powerful drinks industry, groups like British multinational Diageo, and lobbyists from the FAI, GAA and IRFU who embrace alcohol sponsorship.

One year later, and following a summer of alcohol-fuelled controversies, there has been some progress in the debate but little in the way of meaningful action. A few months ago Minister of State Róisín Shortall made reasonable proposals to restrict drink advertising, phase out sponsorship of sporting and culture events by 2016, introduce minimum pricing and impose a responsibility levy to help change our unhealthy drinking culture. Despite Government promises to tackle the issue, Ms Shortall’s proposals didn’t make it to Cabinet, with Fine Gael ministers claiming the proposals were too strict. The issue was due back on the table in September but many fear it may be swept back under the carpet.

As the country prepares for Diageo’s annual “Arthur’s Day celebration”, I would like to repeat my call for political courage, leadership and action.

Elected representatives must unify and demonstrate vision and integrity on an issue that is a core part of our dysfunction as a nation. We need to develop the national debate about our drinking habits, to ask on a deeper level why we abuse alcohol so much, and to explore alternative ways and places to socialise and celebrate. Ireland can be a great nation, but it is time to wise up and lose our “drunken Paddy” reputation.

Politicians, if they truly have the best interests of our people at heart, must face down the drinks industry. It is time to work together to create a proud, strong and healthy nation that realises our enormous potential. – Is mise,

RUAIRÍ McKIERNAN,

author by serfpublication date Thu Sep 27, 2012 21:03Report this post to the editors

Arthurs day is ridiculous and an insult to the Irish people.

A national holiday to benefit a foreign corporation whose product damages our society to the core and who no longer pays a significant portion of its taxes here or employs a significant number of our citizens but whose product still gets to be prime time top billing when the US president visits here once in a blue moon.

Bullshit!

And not surprising that Roisin Shorthall was behind the initiative to move on the drink problem. The one minister that was evidently willing to challenge the status quo and question parish pump politics of James Reilly ends up forced to resign her position, is also the one honestly attempting to tackle the drinks problem, despite a pro corporate government dragging it's feet.

The current FG driven administration don't give a shit about our society in which they are in the process of dismembering and privatising everything. You can kiss goodbye any meaningful movement on dealing seriously with the pathological relationship our society has with alcohol.

Remember, government gets their cut every time people drink a pint of that shit. Even when your teenage daughter drinks ten bottles of alcopops, Enda Kenny gets his share in taxes to give away to the nameless bank bondholders.

And no sign of them getting cheap alcohol out of the big supermarkets any time soon. They'd happily have us all drunk and stupid on cheap booze while they push through their right wing policies.

Tesco (and others) make a very significant proportion of the large profits they suck out of our society to their foreign investment portfolios, on the widespread sale of cheap alcohol here with little noticeable regulation. Every night it's an endless parade of kids buying bags of cans of cheap toxic lager there. On bank holidays, it's like the apocalypse in our population centres. You should have seen last Patrick's day in Galways Eyre Square for example. Absolute Nightmare!

But in a way it's not surprising that kids turn so quickly to booze. What else is there for them to do in a society of toll booths, no jobs, no future and a dearth of decent facilities, but to drink themselves stupid like their alcoholic parents did. Because the truth is, despite all the bru-ha-ha and solemn statements (talk is cheap!) about the childrens act, it's all just cheap words and the reality is nobody honestly cares about kids in Ireland (especially poor kids) once they are out of the womb.

And you won't see any of those "pro lifers" picketting Tesco or Diageo or FG offices. Because the fact is, they don't give a shit about life once it gets here either. Just more cheap labour pushing down wage costs.
But they should picket them because clearly all are anti life on this island.

Thanks for posting this article to highlight this issue

Boycott Arthurs day any way you can!!

drunk1.jpg

drunkgirl1.jpg

author by Alecpublication date Thu Sep 27, 2012 23:51Report this post to the editors

For God's Sake !

If I want to drink I want to be free to do it, if I want to smoke M I want to be free to do it !
None has the right to tell me what I have or what I have not to do of my f... life,
not you - not anybody else !!!
Alcohol is not the evil and certainly you are not the good ... have a pint or two and relax yourself !!!

c25051b.jpg

author by serfpublication date Fri Sep 28, 2012 00:31Report this post to the editors

Unfortunately your "freedoms" impinge on the other freedoms we are also supposed to have in our society.

Here are just a few examples how your "freedom" impinges on many of our other important "freedoms" as a result of widespread selfish idiotic attitudes like yours:

the estimated 3.7 billion it costs us as taxpayers to pay for the medical costs of alcohol abuse.

the costs of cleaning up our streets after the weekends drink and vomit binge

the danger walking streets full of drunk violent people at night

the peer pressure our kids have to drink at a young age.

the broken marriages, broken homes and damaged children who have to survive the nightmare of often violent alcoholic parents.

And I don't know what you are moaning about my toothless post on indymedia for because the fact is you currently have absolute freedom to drink all you like right now because NOBODY is currently doing much to regulate the widespread sales of cheap alcohol to all and sundry

Meanwhile drink corporations such as diagieo and huge supermarket chains like tesco cynically count their profits and a government who get their cut in revenue, continue to drag their feet in doing something about properly regulating against the carnage caused by alcohol here.

I'm not against freedom, but you need to balance one freedom against another to have a working society. Firstly, the freedom to drink yourself stupid on cheap alcohol is not a particularly worthwhile freedom to protect when it impinges on so many other aspects of our collective lives that are far more important. There is a total imbalance between this particular freedom and other far more fundamental freedoms that needs serious redress

Your post is just indicative of the virus of absolute selfish individualism at the expense of the community that has invaded us from the US over the last few decades.

And perhaps drinking so much has damaged your brain cells over time so much that you are incapable of appreciating the bigger picture and empathising with the families of alcoholics or children developing serious drinking problems at ever younger ages, seeing the huge drain on our already austerity stretched social services, or for that matter formulating a cogent argument as to why we should allow this particular freedom to trump so many others.

Fuck Arthur's day! It's a cynical profitable corporate joke at the expense of the Irish people.

author by southern comfortpublication date Mon Oct 01, 2012 20:06Report this post to the editors

It's like they take 60% of the price of petrol - but global warming is bad.

They take billions in tax on sweets - our teeth rot.

They take 45% on the pint - the publican takes another 45% - but drink is bad for you.

Am I the first to detect a pattern here?

author by Tpublication date Fri Oct 05, 2012 14:14Report this post to the editors

For reference this graph might be of interest showing the per capita of alcohol consumption in Ireland from 1991 to 2010. It is an amended graph from the one taken from http://www.dohc.ie/statistics/key_trends/health_of_the_....html with the tobacco figures removed.

This link here also had figures for 1960 and 1970 which have been added to the graph.
http://www.finfacts.ie/Private/bestprice/alcoholdrinkco...e.htm

 Alcohol and Cigarette Consumption Per Annum, Per Capita over 15 Years Old, 1991-2010
Alcohol and Cigarette Consumption Per Annum, Per Capita over 15 Years Old, 1991-2010

author by Searson - Observerpublication date Sat Oct 06, 2012 16:52Report this post to the editors

Most impressed with this site and the foregoing postings. The photographs create the visual reality that we need to engage with. It is not acceptable to allow alcohol to subsume the human being and make them shoddy, inhuman, costly to society and most importantly to their own selves making them early casualties of life and living. The financial, the emotional and psychological cost of uncontrolled alcohol consumption leading to further addictions related to illegal drugs, to gambling creates a culture where people cannot engage with society as it is their duty and obligation to their fellow human beings. This is a harsh judgment, I know but corporates who control markets target the young, the vulnerable, the unemployed in a way that they choose to prioritise drink towards the top of their daily agenda and priorities. We need to tackle these priorities and change the culture.

Alistair Campbell apparently was invited by Govt to join in conversations about the Drink issue in Ireland. Strange choice but then as Ryan Tubridy (Late Late show) engaged in conversation with him, one would know why? Reading a particular section from his book, Happy Depression, gave a real insight to what addiction is really about. The day came, he was admitted to hospital and the psychiatrist simply said, tell me what your day is about in politics as adviser to former Prime Minister, Mr. Blair. Anyone addicted, or nearly there knows what he had to say. To the young people reading this post I would say don't be dictated to by advertising, corporates and your cohorts. Life can be plenty fun without being ossified to the state of no recall. This is in itself about being voluntarily hugely vulnerable and the costs are way too high. Rape but unknown happens in a variety of perspectives.

Back to Alistair Campbell. He made some valid points. The one that particular caught my attention concerned the importance of the pub in the community. It used to be that homes had no central heating or were bland so people would go out to the local. I agree with Mr. Campbell that this kind of gathering creates its own system of checks and balances. Those who drank too much were under the auspices of others who would make suggestions to their betterment. Let's get local pubs back in place in our country. Curtail the sale of alcohol (intention only massive inebriation in near zero time) from supermarkets. Encourage people to enjoy alcohol in context. Pubs could be creative. Encourage people to venture out at night for a drink but if they are walking the dog, let them like times of old stop off at the local where dogs were welcome too. Alistair Campbell revealed a horrific fact last night that 2,000 beds are taken up related to alcohol factored in conditions. Shame on us.

Times are hard now. Drink is cheap and pubs are expensive but if we could reconsider the cost v quality concept entrenched in the minds of people we might just re-create that paternalism borne out of a system of checks and balances for the betterment of people.

author by P Naughtonpublication date Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:40Report this post to the editors

. I'd like to address some of the points made in Searson's searing indictment of the alcohol industry .

I certainly agree that it should not be acceptable to allow the subsumption of the human being by alcohol . Gambling, drink, illegal drugs and immorality in general are the four horsemen dragging this generation behind them - drunken teenagers staggering along the shoddy roads of liberal, good intentions . Searon’s judgement is indeed a harsh one, but how much harsher will be the future flames that these youngsters are now stoking for themselves thanks to our capitulations to the drink and the so-called hospitality industry ? (Can I make the suggestion that we from now on call it the “hospitalization industry”?) We hear much talk these days about “cut-backs” to the health service , but surely the very praiseworthy campaigns to save valuable , much-needed resources are constantly being obviated by our society’s willing enslavement to alcohol and other harmful drugs ? So, let’s start where we can . Cut back on alcohol, now that’s one cut-back that makes sense!

author by Licence manpublication date Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:23Report this post to the editors

I’d like to see them pass a law that made it illegal to watch The Late Late Show. Or , if that seems harsh , make people who want to watch the likes of Ryan Turbidy pay a premium on their licence fees .With an appropriate penalty – a mild flogging perhaps - for those who tried to evade the premium .

author by Gale Vogel - Birds Eye Viewpublication date Sun Oct 07, 2012 18:40Report this post to the editors

Checks and balances in the community pub are expressed in TV soaps but unfortunately not reflected in real life, any more. Over the course of many years I have talked with many people, all with varying views, but when it comes to alcohol there is an overriding acceptance that drinking if fine. There is little emphasis on the pub as a hub of community. Steve (not real name) spoke to me once of the increasing trend following legislation of teenagers asking passers by to purchase cheap alcohol from a local off licence. The disturbing aspect of his observation was that those asking were invariably young teenage girls. Steve also said that on a number of occasions he was tempted to succumb to his own red blooded desires as he admitted to finding some of these girls highly attractive and knew too their lack of control and inexperience could render them vulnerable, or as he said “willing”.

The checks and balances noted could alleviate these rather horrible circumstances presented to our youth. The exploitation described is rampant, overheard in a Dublin pub loo two girls talked about presenting themselves to the guys who had purchased them drinks all night in a manner that clearly appeared to them reasonable and normal. This is truly sad.

The tax levied on drinks is excused as discouraging consumption. The cheap drink available as off sales weakens this claim as throughout Ireland by quiet rivers teenagers drink poor quality alcohol or later in their years purchase the sexy image of blue drinks, looking cool and ending as that scantily clad girl lying by a bin. Worse, dependent, ill youths with weakened will leading to transmitted disease or the myriad yields of other risk taking. Match the tax on alcohol in off sales to that in pubs and clubs thereby encouraging the use of community facilities rather than the cheap thrill of young experimenting in the forest clearings in local parks. This would have the effect of encouraging the return to this ideal of a local, generate employment and create controls.

Perhaps however, the most important aspect in achieving this ideal is education. Highlight to our youth the benefit of community and the ills of excess alcohol. Teach in our schools self respect. Present to the parents the image of youth seeking thrills were damage will result and the apparent psycho-babble of sexy adds for high coloured drinks. Sex sells drink and drink sells sex.

“Enjoy drink sensibly”

author by Searson - Communitypublication date Mon Oct 08, 2012 15:19Report this post to the editors

Alcohol and access/excess is vividly portrayed by the postings on this site.

There is another way in life. If only people could realize the harm excess of drink, drugs, smoking can do to their organs, those that make the body function. Too easy it is for it to be too late. For this reason, I am going to go in a different direction to the trend in the postings.

GAA man, former All-Ireland winner, barrister, father of five, and his compassion to give a kidney to a man he only knew one year. The gift is generous and life saving to a father who needed a kidney, a father fighting for his life, with a wife and two children to provide for. This is altruism in its purest form and is the antithesis of that photo of the young woman capitulated morally, emotionally, physically on the pavement in the above posting. We can seek the reasons why. We may even say it was her first time but realistically we know we have created a culture of acceptance to this unsightly experience of non caring for either self or society.

Yes Alistair Campbell, the pub has merits, it is about sharing newspaper and topics, about checks and balances about people, it provides a location to be neighbourly and the responsibilities therein. Vogel, yes we need to educate our young people that this is not necessary, civilisation now is about more opportunities and compassion.

Brolly goes on to talk about his life experience with tragedy. He spoke of his cousin Catherine who had a transplant last year but alas she died but it was this that inspired him to go through 'with this selfless act'. This man who appears so arrogant on TV went on to say that he gave a home to the niece when her mother died and that this too shaped his decision to give his kidney.

We need people like Joe Brolly in the media to counteract the advertising of alcohol in particular. There is another way. There is the way of 'Enough'. Enough, is about changing that Temple Bar hen night culture back to a civilized pub culture where people pay a little more but can be in an environment that is creative and not destructive to those organs that others lose their lives to have. 2,000 beds and alcohol related problems. We need to start taking account. We need to understand just how awful it is when the liver is damaged...and the cost to our health system and the lives of the families affected by addiction.

Searson

author by Tpublication date Tue Oct 09, 2012 17:13Report this post to the editors

Finally came across figures for countries in Europe and for data going back to 1960. See link for source.

Extracting the figures and graphing a selection shows that one or two countries started out with high rates, but Ireland like most countries rapidly increase from consumption from 1960 and while most countries leveled off in the 1980s, we kept going up to about 2003.

What the figures don't show is how this breaks down across class.

In the case of Italy and France, one can speculate that the very high levels must have come down as a result of educational efforts by their respective government as both of these countries must have had chronic alcoholic rates years ago. The interesting question though is why we are not content with the levels of the 1960s. While one might be tempted to place the increases on advertising and easy availability, this wouldn't explain Italy and France, unless for these two a lot of the alcohol consumption can be put down to the fact they are both vine growing regions with presumably abundant supply of cheap wine.

alcohol_per_capita_consumption_by_country.png

Related Link: http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=HEALTH_LVNG
author by serfpublication date Tue Oct 09, 2012 17:53Report this post to the editors

I think a factor not captured by these graphs is the way the cultures drink.

France and Italy would traditionally drink wine with their meals and with family. A family all drinking a couple of glasses of wine with a full meal each day is a very different kettle of fish to kids bush drinking six packs of dutch gold cheap supermarket lager, or binging on buckfast to get pissed.

Irish drinking is less likely to be as an accompaniment to a filling meal, and more likely as an end in itself to get "annihilated" on a friday night

Very different patterns. Very different results.

French and italian kids grow up with alcohol as a controlled part of normal family life. It's in context. Irish people do not seem to have such a context and now that the pubs are fading, there is even less social restraints on our drinking patterns. Kids have almost none, given the easy availability of cheap supermarket booze.

author by stop the madnesspublication date Tue Oct 09, 2012 20:05Report this post to the editors

Alcohol destroys lives,if the ad developers want to be honest about the drinks industry,and the price a lot of irish families have paid,they need to start showing honest images,attained to drink...good and bad

author by serfpublication date Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:07Report this post to the editors

Don't like the times much but glad they published an attack on this stupid Arthurs day!:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0927/....html

from Steve Wall:
“If a thriving multi-billion euro corporation asked you to provide free marketing services for it, would you do it?” asked Rory Fitzgerald at The Huffington Post. “If you plan on taking part in ‘Arthur’s Day’ on Thursday, Sept. 27, that’s exactly what you will be doing. You may like to think that you are honoring a well-loved Dubliner, but in fact you have been manipulated into helping to create further millions for Diageo’s already wealthy shareholders.”

author by Chestnut - Alcohol in moderationpublication date Sun Nov 11, 2012 15:05Report this post to the editors

Within reason should apply to all who inbibe alcohol or for that matter illegal drugs.

Real problems exist now with the likes of Tescos, Aldi, Lidl, Spar etc who supply quantities of alcohol at often subsidised prices to people whose attitude is diminished either by an addiction trait or by falling into the category of easy led.

The Late Late described our City Dublin as a quite barbaric area to hang about in due to the addiction be it to illegal drugs, the diversity of usage and the consumption of alcohol.

How can we change this? I don't know but I do know that our education system is lacking. The talk is bullying but it should be about addiction and self harm, because self harm is not just inflicting visible wounds on your body, it is also drinking so far to excess that memory is obliterated and what you do to your health, the health of others, our hospital A&E services, our taxis, our people, our ambulances, your long term mental health needs addressing to the degree that there is understanding, consideration and respect for fellow human beings.

Suicide is the final outome .... and yes we have lots of support groups now. However the issue is the need to learn first at school.

The attached link may be considered advanced but as regards a healthy approach to life, it makes sound reading.

http://sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/345842/descripti...reads

Sociologist is Mike Tomlinson and the study relates to the Peace Process in Northern Ireland

The significance of the 'Past'

'Called the Troubles, this warlike period brought religious and political fighting that pitted neighbour against neighbour. Children of the Troubles lived with terrorism, house-to-house searches, curfews and bomb explosions. Trauma early in life had rendered men more vulnerable to taking their own lives later, Tomlinson proposed in July in International Sociology'.

Dublin centre now seems to have become a backwater for those addicted to drugs and alcohol. It is bowed down to crime and illegality and realistically this too is about a conflict ....We need to address the issue through education. We could start with the art of reviving communication through conversation with an interest in our own country but also the world. Starbucks has successfully manage to tap into this - what is the psychology behind the marketing I wonder

author by Blake - Budget 2012publication date Mon Dec 03, 2012 15:09Report this post to the editors

Drink and the cost to Ireland. Add to this cigarettes and both provide the much needed revenue to Government which compromises the vulnerable into contribution. You may be on social welfare, you may even be homeless, you may be classified as a citizen who does not pay tax but the truth is don't be conned we all pay, one way or another.

I see John out in the cold weather day after day, a good word for all, but it is the alcohol, the cigarettes and money he collects from begging that helps keep the Governments coffers full. Yes he is part of that circle of life where he moves from hostel to hostel, has to be out by 9 a.m until 5 pm if not later and the luxuries for him and so many others are the cigs, the beer, the takeaways. The truth is that it is people like John who keep money in the coffers of the Government and we need grasp that it is these people who also pay considerable amounts in tax.

We need to take a look at our society. We still are wearing those rose tinted glasses. Government of the day has distanced itself greatly from the people. Take stock, relate, involve yourselves more at Grassroots. Germany is self-seeking and does not deserve the attention it demands from either Ireland or Greece. We can contribute just give us time to get our house in order ourselves.

author by Comyn - Drinkpublication date Thu Dec 06, 2012 14:02Report this post to the editors

£1 for a bottle of wine is the take and pretty small amounts for alcohol and cigarettes.

The message here is: forget about over-consumption, the costs to health and peoples intake, we need the money so we will do the maths on health and contained expenses at another time.

Meanwhile the supermarkets will undercut and sell the products ie alcohol and cigarettes, the young and old and vulnerable will buy and pay their discretionary! taxes. Then add to this the smuggling and yes it is the vulnerable who will ultimately suffer from poor health, shorter life spans. What changes in society?

One more point I want to make - yesterday morning the hatchet jobs and the speeches in the Dail a number of TD's sitting behind the ministers were busy playing with their iphones. As one person this morning said on the radio - it was obnoxious, arrogant and shows how detached these people are from the ordinary people on this Island who are hurting today.

The category 'caught' is the income band £25,000-£45,000, most likely these are the people with the least mobility ie geographic because most likely the option to emigrate is determined by the negative equity hold their properties have on them. Yes, we know if they have a penchant for drink they will be locked into the drinking at home supermarket cheap stock cider, beer and wine if you can afford the extra.

Comyn

author by serfpublication date Wed Sep 25, 2013 16:38Report this post to the editors

Christy moore knows the problems of alcohol the hard way.
Here he is performing his protest song on Prime time.


Sing along:
---------------

Diageo Diageo have mounted a Crusade
creating Arthur's Day they've suckered us into their charade
start 'em off on Alco-Pops tastes just like lemonade
get 'em into the hit while they're young and none the wiser

Diageo pump the volume up on Arthur's Day
with The Manic Street Preachers, Primal Scream, Tom Jones and David Gray
to flog their alcohol they're revvin' the youngsters up for a mighty spree
Twitter and Facebook tellin them where The Mumfords 'r gonna be

Happy Happy Happy Happy Arthur's Day
Its such . . . a Happy Clappy Advertisin' Scheme
Drink sensibly they implore us, as their Hosannas sound a never-ending chorus
'n kids get hooked on the fantasies that flash before us

Arthurs Alcoholiday is comin round again
he's the patron saint of porter canonized by the Advertisin' Men
the medics in the ambulance 'll be workin overtime,
the A&E 'll be like a drunk tank in the firing line
while Diageo goes AWOL at closing time


Caption: Christy moore


author by serfpublication date Wed Sep 25, 2013 16:50Report this post to the editors

A Song For Arthur's Day
Mike Scott

https://soundcloud.com/mickpuck/arthurs-day

Lyrics:

We’ll show the World we’re drinkers on Arthur’s Day.

Not gentlemen or thinkers on Arthur’s Day.

We’ll puke in our hands and piss where we stand, and we’ll fill the A&E wards, we’ll binge and minge talk sh!te all night in Ireland in our hordes on Arthur’s Day.

We’ll reinforce the stereotype on Arthur’s Day, that the Paddy is a guttersnipe on Arthur’s Day.

A bestial dog just up from the bog no manners in his head. We’ll drink and stink and curse and worse and soil our sodden beds on Arthur’s Day.

We’ll leave the streets in tatters on Arthur’s Day. Cos drink is all that matters on Arthur’s Day.

We’ll raise a glass, fall on our ass and never give a damn, or have a bother that we’re all just fodder for an advertising scam on Arthur’s Day.

Down with Arthur’s Day.


author by Clare Eaglet - Observerpublication date Mon Oct 28, 2013 16:44Report this post to the editors

Serf

Thanks for the words of song by Christy Moore (and song written by Mike Scott).

There is nothing to beat experience and especially when you have writers like Christy Moore who are honest about their mis-takes (portals of discovery). Christy Moore featured in an article by Liam Collins in yesterday's Sunday Independent. The words selected include him as a 'complex mix of campaigner and entertainer; a man who is passionate about his causes and his audience....a ballad writer and writer'. This man has been the compiler of a social history of Ireland for 40 years or more now. He has been described as a polemicist (a modern day kind of Jonathan Swift but without the need to have the alter ego).

We need to thank this man for his song about Arthur's Day because it opened up that national debate yet again on alcohol and Ireland. For this reason, this site merits further discussion.

Christy had the monkey on his back! He too has bipolar (mental health condition). To those who promote the advertisement of alcohol or for that matter the Ming Flanagan proposal to legalise hash, I would make one suggestion.

Addiction is a disease. It may be genetic, it may not. You may know immediately, you may not. The reality is that it is not the advertising by the large drinks companies like Diageo at football events that matters; it is the system of education we have in our schools that allows us to explore our vulnerabilities and teach us methods of coping. Abuse of alcohol for some may yield no significant ill-health outcomes but for others, it may lead us direct to the gutter.

Psychosis happens to some and not to others. From experience psychosis is horrific, it is the reality of the film train-spotting. I have to say 'Delirium tremens' written by Christy Moore sums up what is worst about psychosis as defined in mental health or delirium from too much alcohol. So listen to the words, think this is not a reality I need to experience, forget taking marijuana or too much alcohol because these can be the precipitating events that lead to mental illness and be educated about the responsibilities that people must under-take to contribute to our society.

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