“Online drinking craze is only a symptom – let’s tackle the cause.”
Minister for Children & Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald has condemned the “neknominations” online craze as “not only dangerous and potentially harmful to young people – it is evidence of our society’s broader need to address our binge drinking culture”.
Neknominations – a social media-driven craze in which people film themselves downing alcoholic drinks before nominating friends to do the same within 24 hours – is, according to Minister Fitzgerald “not a game. It is a highly dangerous – potentially lethal – phenomenon, where an inappropriate peer pressure element adds to the risks.
“Above all, it represents further evidence that we still have a long way to go in denormalising binge drinking among Irish youth.
“Young people take their cues from our broader society’s general attitude to drinking, and the popularity of Neknominations shows we still have a long way to go in developing a healthy societal attitude to the consumption of alcohol.
“Rather than focus solely on the symptoms, we must work together to tackle the cause, and I echo the very sensible calls by Irish youth organisations and alcohol awareness groups to find effective ways to change our alcohol consumption patterns.”