IRISH DRINKERS SHY AWAY FROM ALCOHOL

IRISH DRINKERS SHY AWAY FROM ALCOHOL

Irish drinkers are turning away from traditional tipples like Guinness and whiskey in favor of soft drinks and are among Europe's lowest consumers of alcohol, according to a report published Wednesday.

The survey by a drinks trade association, appearing in the Irish Times newspaper, said adults were now drinking an average of 2.2 gallons of alcohol a year, almost 0.2 gallon less than in 1980.Among European Community countries, only Britain consumes less alcohol than Ireland with an annual average of 2.05 gallons a person, said the report commissioned by the Drinks Industry Group.

Ireland's consumption of soft drinks surged by nearly 80 percent.