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Alcohol - The Challenge of Moderation

Pastoral letter

Author(s): N/A

ISBN13: 9781847300393

ISBN10: 1847300391

Publisher: BETAPRINT

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    At the launch, Bishop Eamonn Walsh, the vice chair of the bishops alcohol and drugs initiative, said: 'Father Mathew addressed the excessive consumption of alcohol in the Ireland of 1850s. Today Ireland is a very different place, yet once again we have a destructive relationship with alcohol. What is our response? Do we just shrug helplessly, leave it to others to do, or do we assume responsibility ourselves? Are we going to let the slide continue, and then in time lament by perhaps quoting the late John Healy, No one shouted stop? Moderation is a responsible approach to consuming alcohol. Some may choose abstinence which is equally laudable.

    However if we look at international research on alcohol consumption, Irish societys use of alcohol is nothing short of a national tragedy. Ireland tops two recent international league tables which measure, (i) the level of binge drinking amongst those under the age of 20, and, separately, (ii) in terms of alcohol consumption for those aged 15 and above*.'Bishop Walsh said: 'This Pastoral Letter is an attempt to initiate a debate that will enable us all to gradually change unhealthy attitudes towards alcohol. Also incorporated in the pastoral are some practical suggestions, such as: to reduce ones consumption of alcohol by one third and assess the difference this makes after three months, and, to initiate a discussion amongst friends and at home about our attitude to and use of alcohol.

    'To encourage debate at public policy level, the pastoral letter will be sent to public representatives north and south, the National Youth Council, sporting bodies, chaplaincies, unions, public health authorities and interest groups in this area.For September the Bishops Conference intends to develop a DVD, based on the pastoral, for use by schools and colleges. This pastoral is also available In Irish and Polish.The Pastoral concludes with an invitation to forward suggestions to the Irish Bishops Drugs & Alcohol Initiative
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Alcohol - The Challenge of Moderation

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