I have raised the issue of alcohol consumption in this house a number of times as it is an issue that seems to affect Ireland at a higher level than our European counterparts.
A recent study carried out by The Lancet places Ireland in the top five countries of the world with the highest estimated alcohol intake during pregnancy.
The study came to this conclusion following the discovery that 60% of Irish births show evidence of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
It has been estimated that one in every 67 mothers who consumes alcohol during pregnancy will deliver a child with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.
FAS can cause problems with neurological development and growth, which may result in numerous issues such as learning disabilities for children later in life.
These findings are alarming, but preventing FAS is quite easily achievable as it is directly linked to alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
Therefore, I am calling on the Minister to work towards increased awareness and education for expecting mothers on the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, in the aim to decrease the number of FAS cases in Ireland.