The Irish drinks industry has signed up to a new alliance with online retailers and delivery platforms to help prevent the sale of alcohol to minors and reduce harmful drinking among adults.

While overall alcohol consumption was down last year due to the closure of pubs and restaurants, online sales of alcohol increased.

Patricia Callan, Director of Drinks Ireland said while measures are already in place to regulate the sale and marketing of alcohol in Ireland, the alliance will offer further protection.

"The rise of e-commerce offers opportunities for Irish producers to break into new markets and reach new consumer segments and this will only grow in 2021.

"But Irish producers are committed to doing this in a responsible manner and are delighted to join this global collaboration between drinks companies and e-commerce platforms, which is the first of its kind," said Ms Callan.

Twelve global beer, wine and spirts producers and twelve global and regional online retailers and delivery platforms have signed up to the alliance, which was established through the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), of which Drinks Ireland is a member.