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52pc of Irish adults now drinking booze on a weekly basis

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Alcohol sales are up

Alcohol sales are up

Alcohol sales are up

More than half of Irish adults are now drinking alcohol on a weekly basis, with many households reporting increased tensions during lockdown.

An overwhelming 88pc of people said the reason for drinking was "to help relax and unwind".

The charity Drinkaware has published the findings of a new study which examined how much we have been imbibing.

The survey began on April 24 and asked people about their drinking habits in the previous 30 days.

Researchers found that 52pc of adults were drinking alcohol on a weekly basis, up from 44pc last year.

The frequency of consumption among those who drank has also increased, with 14pc saying they drank alcohol four or more times each week in the past 30 days.

Tensions

Almost half (47pc) said that tensions in their household had increased in the past 30 days, according to the research conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes on behalf of the Drinkaware.

However, interestingly, a significant percentage of people (25pc) reported a decline in alcohol consumption during the lockdown.

"As we enter the first phase of easing restrictions, we need to renew our efforts to explore alternative and healthier coping strategies that don't involve consistent and potentially harmful drinking," said Drinkaware chief executive Sheena Horgan.

Separately, both Nielsen and Drinks Ireland have released data which revealed a total transformation in Ireland's alcohol market during the lockdown.

Sales of alcohol in Ireland and the UK have outstripped the increase in grocery purchases sparked by the pandemic lockdown.

That is in marked contrast to Spain, Italy and France where sales of alcohol dramatically failed to match the surge in purchases of foodstuffs.

However, while sales of take-home booze soared by 40pc in Ireland since the lockdown was enforced in March, overall alcohol sales are estimated to be down by 30pc due to the closure of pubs and restaurants.

Meanwhile, new figures indicate that fears of a massive surge in the number of people visiting holiday homes during the restrictions failed to materialise.

The latest Savills-Pinergy Energy Monitor found nearly an 83pc reduction in energy consumption in holiday homes over the Easter weekend, compared to the same period last year.

Families saw energy consumption soar by 12pc as adult children returned home.