Irish to Require Health Warnings on Bottles

May 20, 2003

By George Anderson

Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern is looking to reverse his country’s reputation as the party hardy capitol of Europe.

Mr. Ahern has announced legislation to be introduced to the Irish parliament (The Dail) requiring companies selling alcoholic beverages in the Republic to place health warnings on cans and bottles.

According to, the Taoiseach said current attitudes within the country emphasize “drinking to get drunk and binge drinking, rather than having a few social drinks with friends. Unfortunately, this abuse of alcohol has become a serious matter in our society.”

In addition to bottles and cans, the proposed legislation would require health warnings on all alcoholic beverage advertising.

Alcohol advertising would be banned on television and radio before 10pm, as well as on public transportation, sporting events and other areas likely to attract minors.

According to a report in the Chicago Sun Times, “A 1999 survey placed Ireland top among 15 European nations in terms of the percentage of citizens who consider themselves regular drinkers–51.5 percent.”

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on current
regulations regarding alcohol marketing and sales here in the US? Are they too
restrictive. etc.?

As you would expect, not all are enamored with Mr. Ahern’s
plans. Gerry Crawford, manager of the Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest pub dating
back to 1198 told the Sun Times, ‘It’s headline-grabbing and a smoke screen
for the real crisis in the health service.’ [George
Anderson – Moderator

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