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Heart Disease

Fr Jack tells the Irish public to... not drink (too much)

It’s part of a campaign by the Irish Heart Foundation asking people to cut back on their alcohol intake.

THE IRISH HEART Foundation (IHF) has launched their September Heart Month by encouraging people to ‘say when sooner’.

The event was attended by Father Ted actor Frank Kelly who famously portrayed Father Jack in the Channel 4 series.

Despite his former character’s fondness for the odd alcoholic beverage, the veteran actor encouraged the public to think about their intake.

“This campaign isn’t saying you can’t drink alcohol at all but it is a reminder to all of us to say when sooner and prevent a serious health problem down the line,” said Kelly.

alcohol picture 2 Caroline Morahan, John Healy and Frank Kelly at today's launch Photocall / Mark Stedman Photocall / Mark Stedman / Mark Stedman

The event was also attended by Irish actress Caroline Morahan and TV show The Restaurant’s John Healy, who has suffered two heart attacks in his life, and is a heart transplant survivor. Speaking about his experience Healy said:

I thought I was living a healthy life but thinking back, I never really ate properly… I smoked and up to a certain point in my life I drank far too much alcohol… my advice to everyone around me [is] take care of yourself now and prevent the worst later.

On the risk that excess alcohol consumption poses, the IHF’s medical director Dr Angie Brown, said:

Sadly many people only cut back on alcohol after they have a cardiac event which is why this September our message is a reminder to adults to ‘Say When Sooner’ to alcohol and prevent heart problems by drinking less and less often.

In a new study carried out by the IHF more than four out of five respondents were aware of the link between heart disease and excess alcohol consumption.

frank kelly irish cancer launch Photocall / Mark Stedman Photocall / Mark Stedman / Mark Stedman

Alcohol consumption in Ireland currently sits at 11.61 litres per capita according to the OECD. This places us 2.5 litres above the European average of 9.11 litres.

It was found last year in a report by the Health Research Board that more than half of 18-75 year olds in Ireland were classified as harmful drinkers.

These were counted as people who drink dependently, people who consume their entire weekly limit in one sitting and binge drinkers.

The same study also found that Irish adults underestimate how much they drink by 61%.

Read: High-intensity exercise might actually be BAD for you

Also: “A real breakthrough”: Study finds exercise will effectively fight heart disease in diabetics

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