Irleand is facing a minimum price on alcohol next year.

Irleand is facing a minimum price on alcohol next year.

The vast majority of Ireland's population believe alcohol consumption levels are too high, but only just over half support minimum pricing, a survey has revealed. 

Around four out of five (85%) questioned in the survey for Ireland's publicly-funded Health Research Board, published yesterday (11 July) said they felt drinking levels were excessive. However, only one in ten of the 1,020 polled knew the recommended maximum recommended number of drinks that can be safely consumed in a week. 

A separate study, published in February, also found that alcoholic consumption in Ireland has fallen by 17% in the past ten years.

On pricing, the latest survey found 58% backed introducing a minimum price - with support highest among 35 to 64 year-olds. But, it would take a price rise of 25% or more to get three quarters of people to cut the amount of alcohol they buy, the study found.

Ireland's health authorities are planning a cross-border strategy in a bid to introduce minimum pricing by next year - in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Scotland is also pressing ahead with minimum pricing and the Wesminster goverment looks set to follow

On advertising and sponsorship, the survey found seven out of ten backed a ban on alcohol adversiting on social media, while 76% want to see restrictions on adverts on TV and radio before 2100. Eight out of ten backed a ban on cinema advertising before films rated 17 years and under.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos MRBI, found around four out of ten (42%) supported a ban on the alcohol industry sponsoring sporting events, while 37% backed similar measures for music events. 

Nine out of ten agreed that it is not safe to drive after two alcoholic drinks.

Dr Jean Long of the Health Research Board said: "This report provides evidence that the public thinks that our alcohol consumption is too high and that they support the government to introduce public health measures to reduce alcohol consumption in Ireland."