A seismic increase in at-home drinking in Ireland has raised fears that the island nation will soon face a serious rise in the number of people suffering from addiction as a result of lockdowns.
According to addiction experts, the restrictions in place to curb the spread of the Chinese coronavirus, such as full lockdowns and curfews for pubs, has corresponded with a sudden surge in the amount of alcohol being consumed in the home in Ireland.
The founder of the award-winning Aiseirí addiction centres, Sister Eileen Fahey, has raised alarm bells regarding the change in drinking patterns in Ireland, saying that there are “serious concerns at the future implications” of the change.
“All the indications are that alcohol consumption in the home has sky-rocketed during the pandemic and there are many of us very worried about the long-term effects,” the Irish Independent reports Sister Fahey as saying.
The addiction expert also described a shift in the demographic profile of those coming forward to be treated for addiction. While previously those with addictions treated by Aiseirí tended to be male, it has now morphed into a more even split between the two sexes. Addictions surrounding drugs and gambling have also become more common since the centres were set up.
Data compiled by Alcohol Action Ireland in March showed that supermarket alcohol sales jumped 93 per cent in June 2020 over the previous year.
Ireland’s pandemic era issues with alcohol have been seen throughout the British Isles.
In 2020, the number of Scottish deaths caused by alcohol hit levels not seen in over a decade, with 1,190 deaths attributed to drinking last year. At the same time, the overall number of alcohol-related deaths across Britain rose almost 19 per cent in 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Great Britain: Depression More than Doubles Since Before Coronavirus Pandemic https://t.co/f3YkKAESV5
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 7, 2021
As Ireland faces a possible future increase in addiction numbers correlating with pandemic restrictions, a recent scandal in the country has led to government officials being accused of having “utter contempt” for the public.
Evidence has emerged that staff and officials in the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs attended a champagne party during a period of intense lockdown in the country.
At least 20 individuals from the department attended the event in a government building, during a point where it was illegal for Irish citizens to attend regular Sunday church services.
Speaking on the controversy, the president of the Irish Freedom Party, Hermann Kelly, lambasted the attitude of Irish officials.
“This shows the utter contempt official mandarins have for the Irish people,” Kelly told Breitbart London.
“It’s a case of ‘rules for thee don’t apply to me’,” Kelly continued. “Lockdown rules were clearly for the little people, the serfs and workers, not applied to the bosses and rulers.”
In response to the controversy, the department has blamed “a moment of happiness” for sparking the incident, and has claimed that “lessons have been learned”.
‘Utter Contempt for the People’: At Least 20 Irish Govt Officials and Staff Attended Lockdown Champagne Partyhttps://t.co/lAk0SeoL6G
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 29, 2021