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Anti-alcohol campaign group say criticism is "premature"

The group have issued a number of radio and billboard advertisements in recent weeks.

Image: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

AN ANTI-DRINKING GROUP has responded to criticism over its affiliation with drink company Diageo.

This follows an expression of opposition to the campaign in a open letter.

The letter has been signed by a number of high-profile individuals including comedian Des Bishop, folk singer Christy Moore and TD Róisín Shortall.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for the ‘Stop Out of Control Drinking’ group, said, “Fergus Finlay (chairman of the group) has said that has said that he respects everyone’s opinion on it but it is very premature to judge.”

He went to say:

While Diageo provides the money, they don’t control the board. There are no shares allocated on the board. The thirteen other people on the board are not getting paid anything.

The drinks company has provided substantial financial backing for the campaign. None of the group’s board members receive a salary.

Resignation

The follows the resignation of Dr Ciara Kelly from the board.

In a statement issued yesterday it was said that this was due to time constraint and that Kelly maintained her support of the campaign.

The group has issued a number of radio and billboard advertisements in recent weeks promoting its anti-alcohol message.

Alcohol consumption on the rise

This comes after the release of new figures by Alcohol Action Ireland that indicate a rise in alcohol consumption in Ireland.

The figures the group has produced come from corroborated data from the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The amount of alcohol consumed in 2014 was said to be 11 litres, which was an increase from the 2013 figure of 10.73 litres.

Despite the slight rise there was still an overall drop from 2011 and 2012 when alcohol consumption was at an average of 11.7 litres.

Read: Drink up! Scientists say you’re more attractive after having a glass of wine

Also: Shocking teen drinking: ‘They could be knocked down or aspirate in their own vomit’

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