The former head of the North Western Health Board and current Chair of Alcohol Forum has said Ireland's alcohol culture is now of epidemic proportions.
Pat Harvey was speaking as first National Alcohol Conference got underway in Dublin. It's entitled "The Power of Local Community in Reducing Harmful Drinking".
In his previous role with the Health Board Pat Harvey says he saw first hand the impact of alcohol abuse as he often had to sign forms asking the Courts to take a child into care and away from a family.
The forum was addressed today by Minister of State for Primary Care Alex White - Pat Harvey says he did have some words of encouragement: