The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) warmly welcomes the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) within the Public Health (Alcohol) Act approved by the Government today.

RCPI President, Prof Mary Horgan, said this is a major step forward in protecting public health of men, women and children in Ireland.

We know from the experience in Scotland that the introduction of MUP helps to quickly reduce the harm caused by the widespread availability of cheap alcohol resulting in fewer hospital admissions and death. Alarming statistics that show that 3 people currently die in Ireland every day as a result of a harmful relationship with alcohol and we also know of the untold grief, pain and harm caused in so many families throughout our society. Sadly, so many children also suffer neglect, abuse and harm and it is a good day when evidence-based public health legislative measures contribute to a healthier society, Prof Horgan said.

I want to pay tribute to our former President, Prof Frank Murray, and the other specialists in liver disease, public health and paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology and others who came together as members of the RCPI Policy Group on Alcohol to review the evidence and bring their frontline experience to bear in influencing the enactment of this important legislation that can help to save lives. Our College has a long and proud role in advocating for the health of the nation since its foundation and will continue to make representations to address health inequalities and promote health for many years to come.

I also want to pay tribute to the Alcohol Health Alliance that included so many representatives including parents who lost children and so many others who came together to make a difference and help to change things for the better for all of our futures” Prof Horgan said.

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