Fianna Fail’s only Oireachtas representative in South Dublin, Senator Mary White, is to host a public meeting in the constituency to place a spotlight on the threats alcohol poses to the health of women. The meeting, which will also deal with tobacco threats, will also hear from oncologist Professor John Crown, Senator White’s Senate colleague.
Senator White said the threats to women’s health from smoking were well flagged but that alcohol issues were less publicised.
She commented, “Today’s busy lifestyles are leading to a growing dependency on alcohol and smoking in women of all ages. Professional women run the risk of competing with men, not just for promotion but also in drinking to excess, and subject themselves to the health risks associated with that.
“Politics is a high risk profession, and all too often alcohol plays a central role in the political sphere. The link between alcohol and politics was brought into sharp focus following the sad death of a young female UK politician from alcoholism a few years ago.
“Women’s use of alcohol to ‘take the edge off’ is a dangerous practice. The ‘Merlot and Me’ phenomenon, whereby 6 in 10 women in Ireland admitted to drinking up to 4 units of alcohol daily is extremely worrying. Research from Alcohol Action Ireland reveals a particular issue with alcohol in this country, with 77% of Irish women drinking compared to 68% of women in Europe. It also found that 1 in 10 women in Ireland have ‘harmful’ drinking patterns whereby they drink more than the weekly designated amount in one sitting.
“Irish businesses report losses of around €1.5 billion a year due to alcohol related issues. If I am elected to the Dáil in the next election, I intend to place a major emphasis on reforming Irish alcohol awareness policies and will work with all parties to get an agreed approach on this important issue”, added Senator White.
Chief Executive of Alcohol Action Ireland Suzanne Costello will join Professor John Crown as a key speaker at the meeting.
Senator White’s forum, “Threats to Women’s Health today: Alcohol and Smoking” is open to everyone. It will take place in Mount Merrion Community Centre on Friday November 28th at 7.30pm.