Criticism of new alcohol awareness campaign funded by industry

Diageo, which owns several brands including Guinness, is funding the campaign.

A youth campaigner has attacked a new campaign to tackle alcohol abuse, which he says can’t work because it’s funded by the drinks giant, Diageo.

The Stop out of Control Drinking campaign was launched this afternoon by Fergus Finlay of Barnardos, who says the relationship between Irish people and alcohol has to change.

The project includes representatives from politics, parents groups, doctors and other health workers.

Fergus Finlay, who is leading the campaign, said that although drinks giant Diageo is behind it, their work is fully independent.

"I was sceptical, if I'm being honest, [of] drinks industry funding - but they said 'tell me what you need by way of independence.

They gave me a written memorandum of understanding, which guarantees our independence."

But social campaigner and founder of youth website spunout.ie, Ruairi McKiernan, is not convinced.

"What we're saying is a new tactic from the dinks industry to try and subvert national consciousness to bring on board the expertise the skills and the credibility of the youth and community sector – including Fergus Finlay, who many people respect, and rightfully so.

"It's a feel-good offensive and it can't work," he said.

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