The Biggest Issue Alcoholic Drink in Ireland

Statistics and Quotes


This information will be updated and added to quite frequently, so make sure you check back often!


1.        Statistics


a.       Canadian Beer. There are over 120 brands of Canadian beer. The Canadian people drink over 16 billion pints of it every year. That's enough to keep Niagara Falls spilling at full flow for ten minutes!

b.       French Alcoholics. Alcoholism kills almost 22,000 persons a year in France, the country which has more cases of cirrhosis' of the liver than any other in the world. Official statistics also show that the average Frenchman drinks 31 gallons of wine a year.

c.       "Drunkenness has killed more men than all of history's wars." -General Pershing

d.       The Trap Of Genius. Friedeman Bach, the most gifted son of the great German composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, went to pieces through drink. Michael Haydn, younger brother of Joseph Haydn, and hardly less gifted, was ruined by drink, Franz Schubert became an inveterate wine drinker and died in his early thirties. Robert Schurnann's binge drinking led to a nervous breakdown. After the death of his wife, Rembrandt, then thirty-six, became an alcoholic. Upton Sinclair said, "I call drink the greatest trap that life has set for the feet of genius!" -Sunday School Times


Minister Michel Martin Launches National Alcohol Awareness campaign

"We Must Face Up To The Reality Of Our National Alcohol Problem."


The Minister announced his personal opposition to de-regulation of off-licenses and pubs saying, "whatever about the commercial merits of de-regulation, the public health risks are intolerable. Research tells us one inescapable truth - when alcohol is less easy to get hold of, consumption and alcohol-related problems go down. If we make alcohol more easily available through deregulation, then underage drinking and the myriad of problems that come with underage drinking are going to escalate. We cannot kid ourselves that this wont happen" he said.

Announcing new figures that show that, in the year 1999 alone, alcohol related problems cost the country 1.7 billion he went on,"this figure doesnt come near the emotional price were paying, the human suffering and distress caused every day, in every town and townland in this country, is unimaginable. It covers the healthcare costs and the costs of road accidents, crime and absenteeism."


Statistics quoted in the National Drugs Strategy relating to drugs and alcohol usage by young people and taken from a survey conducted in schools across Europe. These statistics indicate that:

        53% of young people have tried an illegal drug (National Youth Council of Ireland, 1998)

        2% of 15-16 year olds have used cannabis

        22% have used solvents

        89% have drunk alcohol

        More than half of 9 to 11 year olds have tried alcohol and that for those under 14, the home is the most common source of supply.

        Among 12 to 18 year olds, pubs, discos and the home are the three most commonly reported sources of alcohol supply.

        Nearly one third of 15 to 16 year olds binge drink at least three times a month.

        Irish teenagers are amongst the highest abusers of alcohol in Europe.

        Between 1989 and 1999, alcohol consumption per capita in Ireland increased by 41%, while ten European Union Member States showed a decrease and three others showed a modest increase during the same period.

        Alcohol is considered to be the main cause in the breakdown of approximately one third of all relationships in Ireland, according to the North Western Health Board (NWHB).

        It also said that alcohol accounts for one quarter of all cases dealt with by marriage counselling services "and has far reaching consequences for Irish families".

        In Ireland alcohol is estimated to be associated with at least 30% of all road accidents and 40% of all fatal accidents.

        There are 33 victims of violent assault every day, according to Garda statistics.

        Most assaults involve drunken 18-25-year-old males beating up other drunken 18-25-year-old males. Women feature less in attacks, but, say the police, can often be the most vicious. Women are more likely to use glass shards to cut and deliberately disfigure and deform their victim.

        What is the link between alcohol and violence? Alcohol works by depressing the brain activity in its higher centre. This is the area thats responsible for thinking, reasoning and judgement, and that acts as a restraint against certain behaviours. Too many pints or shorts lead to a decline in activity in this area. The result is that we are less able to think clearly and have less control over improper urges and behaviour.

        Number of people charged with street crime under 1994 Public Order Act

1995 10,209

1996 16,386

1997 25,755

1998 27,945

2000 37,749





a.       The great Canadian physician Sir William Osler was lecturing one day on alcohol. Is it true," asked a student, "that alcohol makes people able to do things better? "No," replied Sir William. "It just makes them less ashamed of doing them badly."

b.       Alcohol is not a cure for any disease in the world. Since alcohol cures no disease, it is not a medicine. It creates only an illusion of vigor which does not exist. -Dr. Howard Kelly

c.       Beginning a second night's carousal in Babylon, Alexander the Great drank the health of every person individually. He called for Hercules' cup, which had a huge capacity. Filling it, he drank it all down, drinking to the Macedonian Preteas. He pledged to him again, and fell to the floor. A few days later, he was dead at the age of 32.

d.       Is Liquor A Disease? If it is-


1)       It is the only disease that is contracted by an act of the will;

2)       It is the only disease that requires a license to propagate it;

3)       It is the only disease that is bottled and sold;

4)       It is the only disease that is spread by advertising;

5)       It is the only disease that produces a revenue for the government;

6)       It is the only disease that provokes crime;

7)       It is the only disease that is habit‑forming;

8)       It is the only disease that is spread by advertising;

9)       It is the only disease without a germ or virus cause, and for which there is no human corrective medicine; and

10)    And the only disease that is given as a Christmas present.


e.       Two Costliest Drinks For Lincoln


1)       On the last day of Lincoln's life, the great emancipator said: "We have cleared up a colossal job. Slavery is abolished. After reconstruction the next great question will be the overthrow and suppression of the legalized liquor traffic:."

2)       That evening, the assassin Mr. Booth stopped in a saloon, filled himself with liquor to nerve himself for his planned tragedy. That night Lincoln's bodyguard left the theater for a drink of liquor at the same saloon. While he was away Booth shot Lincoln. Those two drinks might be the most costly drinks in American history.


f.        One of the best social arguments against the use of alcohol is in the words of Lady Nancy Astor: "When I have a good time, I want to know about it."

g.       Senator Mark Hatfield in the US has been seen time and time again, when he goes to social functions where hard liquor and wines are served, he turns his glass upside down. His testimony and influence against drinking has profound effect.

h.       Even President Bush is a teetotaller knowing firsthand the ruin of alcohol in his own life as a college student. At banquets, he drinks water!

i.         Thomas Edison On Alcohol.


1)       Thomas Alva Edison might well be called the "Founding Father" of most of our modem electrical conveniences.

2)       One of the most interesting and instructive things about Edison is what he said about alcohol beverage: "To put alcohol into the human body is like putting sand in the bearings of an engine. I am a total abstainer from alcoholic liquor. I always thought I had a better use for my head." We are glad he did‑otherwise, we might still be using coal oil lamps! -Pulpit Helps


j.         The Little Baby's Shoes


1)       So depraved and de-humanized by drink was Melvin Trotter that he sneaked into the room where his baby lay in a little white casket, and removed the little white shoes from its feet. He went to a saloon, plopped the little shoes down on the counter and said, "Give me a drink! I'm dying for a drink!"

2)       However, not every spark of humanness had died in the sordid soul of the saloon keeper, because he said, "Here's a drink, but you go and put those shoes back on the feet of your dead baby!" Sometime thereafter this slave of alcohol came to know Jesus Christ. Let Trotter tell what happened:

3)       "There was not anything that I knew about that I had not gone through. I had taken cure after cure. I had taken everything known to science, and had made resolution after resolution. But just one glimpse of Jesus Christ, and I have never wanted a drink from that instant to this!" -Walter B. Knight


Father Theobald Mathews Crusade, by John F. Quinn

Chronicles the Irish temperance movement

For centuries, the Irish have been famed, and often derided, for their attachment to alcohol. Yet in the 1830s and 1840s, Ireland became a temperance stronghold. The man almost singlehandedly responsible for this surprising transformation was Father Theobald Mathew (17901856), a popular Franciscan friar. Over a ten-year period, seven million Irish men, women, and children took the pledge at his hands, while hundreds of public houses were forced to shut their doors or switch to selling coffee and tea.