Irelands alcohol consumption down 17% from 2001 peak

Ireland's alcohol consumption down 17% from 2001 peak

Alcoholic drinks consumption in Ireland has fallen by 17% in the past ten years, according to a new study.

In calendar 2011, alcohol consumption per capita fell to an estimated 12 litres in Ireland, 17% below the country's peak in 2001. The findings were published yesterday (2 February) in a Dublin City University Business study completed for the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI). 

According to the figures, while consumers in Ireland are drinking less than ten years ago, they are drinking more than in 2009, when per capita consumption dropped to 11.4 litres. "The movements in 2009 and 2010 were influenced by the changing level of cross-border purchases of alcohol," said the study's author, Anthony Foley.

Despite falling consumption, Irish consumers continue to drink more per head than in many other developed nations. Based on 2009 figures supplied by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, UK alcohol consumption per head was 10.2 litres in 2009. Still, the ABFI was keen to highlight Ireland's greater restraint.

Its director, Kathryn D'Arcy, said: "Contrary to popular opinion, average consumption of alcohol in Ireland has declined dramatically in recent years." Last week, most members of a cross-party committee in Ireland's Parliament called for minimum pricing on alcoholic drinks to be included in the Government's upcoming health bill.