The Minister of State at the Department of Health, Sean Power, has said alcohol abuse is the biggest problem facing the Government and the country.

He told the Dáil that everyone has been far too tolerant of the problem up until now.

Mr Power said the Department of Health is to set up a committee, which will include members of the drinks industry.

The committee will help implement the recommendations outlined in the report compiled by the Strategic Task Force on Alcohol.

Mr Power was speaking on the Fine Gael motion opposing café bars.