The supermarket chain Supervalu has ceased the sale of alcoholic lemonade and the offending alcoholic fruit drinks, often containing more alcohol than the average bottle of beer, have been removed from the shelves of 400 branches nationwide.
Alcopops taste like lemonade or fruit juice, but have an average alcohol content of 4.5 per cent. Declan Kennedy of the Churchtown branch of Supervalu believes these drinks encourage underage drinking.
It’s very big in some of the younger age pubs, they sell a large amount of it and they tend to get very drunk on it.
Nick Killian, spokesperson for The National Parents' Council would prefer if alcoholic lemonade products were not on the market at all. However he, and other opponents of alcoholic lemonade, are realistic enough to understand that the product will not be pulled from the market entirely, but they want to ensure the products are only sold in off licences.
Pat Cooney Managing Director of the Gleeson Group, manufacturer of the Mugshot brand of alcoholic lemonade, is quick to point out that his company is responsible and not aiming to tempt teenagers.
We consider ourselves responsible people, we don’t hide the fact that it is an alcoholic product, we actually emphasise the fact it is an alcoholic product.
Alcoholic lemonade is here to stay, but as it is not available in supermarkets, it is harder for young people to get their hands on it.
An RTÉ News report by John Murray broadcast on 16 February 1996.