We are used to politicians running scared of proposals to tackle Ireland’s lethal relationship with alcohol. But this time there is even less chance of anything getting done. This time, it’s not just fear of the industry and its lobbyists, but of the escalating number of alcohol addicts this society is producing. The last thing this Government wants is a population doing cold turkey, deprived or on a reduced supply of its drug of choice.
I hear that Róisín Shortall, the Minister of State at the Department of Health, will shortly bring the new National Substance Misuse Strategy Report to the Oireachtas health committee, and hopes to draw up a plan in two or three months. I wish her well. I spoke to her recently and detected a high degree of determination, but she will already have gathered that she is on her own. Following this week’s publication of the report of the alcohol policy steering group, several Ministers were sighted running towards the Wicklow hills.
Source: John Waters, Irish Times, 10/02/2012