A Ballina man, whose son died by suicide, has hit out at the pre-Christmas advertisements for cheap alcohol, as supermarkets vie with each other to see who can provide the best value.

 

TV, radio, print and social media are currently running campaigns for cheap drink, accompanied by the advice to "enjoy alcohol responsibly".

 

However, these three words will bring no comfort to children whose prospect of a happy Christmas will be shattered as a result of alcohol abuse in the home, or to families who have lost a loved one in situations where alcohol was a contributing factor.

 

That's according to John Higgins from Ballina, whose son David died by suicide after a house party in March 2011.

 

The inquest into David's death recorded a verdict of death by suicide, with alcohol a contributing factor.

 

John Higgins believes the culture of cheap drink and house parties presents a danger for young people, and has again called for tighter regulation on the price of alcohol in supermarkets and off-licences.

 

While the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 provides for minimum unit pricing for drink, this section of the Act has not yet been implemented in Ireland, and he's calling on the Government to introduce this legislation as soon as possible, to prevent any more loss of life.

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