Call for debate on reducing minimum legal drinking age

There needs to be a debate around reducing the minimum legal drinking age to sixteen.

That’s the view of Cork City Councillor Shane O’Callaghan who believes fresh thinking is needed to tackle binge drinking among young people.

The motion to write to the Justice Minister on the issue at a recent council meeting was quickly withdrawn following criticism from fellow councillors.

Shane O’Callaghan believes policy makers should look to Europe for creative solutions to Ireland’s underage drinking problem.

“It’s legal to purchase beer or wine in Germany when you’re 16, but it isn’t legal to purchase spirits until you’re 18.

“It’s a gradual introduction to less harmful drinks first.

“Here it’s the opposite, there’s no gradual approach, it’s all illegal until you’re 18, and by far the most popular drink for 17 year olds is spirits not beer.”

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