Public Health Alcohol Bill - Open Letter to Oireachtas Members

Published date: 
3 Oct 2018


Dear Oireachtas Members,

I am writing to you in relation to the Public Health Alcohol Bill which is now in its final stages and is scheduled for tonight.

The Public Health Alcohol Bill is of huge significance to the children and young people of Ireland because it aims to reduce the age at which children start drinking. It also aims to reduce the amount of alcohol people consume. These goals are critical because we know from research that drinking at a young age is extremely harmful and can lead to alcohol-related harm and addiction in later life.

We also know that our health system and children and family services are besieged because of alcohol-related harm due to parental drinking. Alcohol plays a major role in contributing to the neglect and abuse of children and is cited in many situations where children are taken into care. Reducing the accessibility and affordability of alcohol will help reduce the amount of harm that these children are exposed to.

We talk a lot in Ireland about prevention and early intervention and here we have a legislative instrument that will do just that.

I urge you on behalf of the children and young people of Ireland to seize this opportunity and pass this Bill tonight. I particularly implore you to pass this Bill on behalf of children living in neglectful family circumstances due to alcohol. They are the ones heavily carrying the brunt of this public alcohol crisis and this must end.

I know that many of you in the Oireachtas have fought hard to improve and pass this Bill and I thank you for this. It is inspirational to see so many champions for children in our Oireachtas. At this final stage, I urge all members to put children first.

Yours sincerely,

Tanya Ward
Chief Executive
Children's Rights Alliance