Clonmel student’s smartphone app can help to monitor your drinking

A student from LIT, Clonmel has been shortlisted in the prestigious national student film and multimedia competition, DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie, which is organised by drinkaware.ie with the support of The Digital Hub.

A student from LIT, Clonmel has been shortlisted in the prestigious national student film and multimedia competition, DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie, which is organised by drinkaware.ie with the support of The Digital Hub.

Creative Multimedia student Paul Murphy, aged 23, originally from Blackrock, Co. Dublin, has made the shortlist of the multimedia category for his entry, ‘Booze Tracker’.

DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie – now in its fifth year – is a competition for third-level students, which challenges students to explore the relationship between Irish culture and drinking through a film or multimedia project. The theme for the 2012 competition was ‘drinking in a home environment’.

Eleven film and multimedia projects – produced by students from throughout Ireland – have been shortlisted for the 2012 competition, including ‘Booze Tracker’.

‘Booze Tracker’ is a smartphone application allowing the user to set their own drinking limit, by logging each drink consumed, and issuing a warning when the drinking quota for the night has been reached.

Speaking at the shortlisting event, Fionnuala Sheehan, Chief Executive of drinkaware.ie congratulated Paul on his success, and spoke about how the shortlisted DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie entries show a more realistic side to drinking than that portrayed on so-called ‘reality’ TV.

“Reality TV can leave young people with the mistaken impression that excessive alcohol consumption in the home is normal, is without negative consequences, and can even lead to rewards,” she said.

“My fear is that – because of the prevalence of scenes of excessive drinking and drunkenness on reality TV programmes – viewers are becoming desensitised. Such programmes sometimes glorify and normalise excessive levels of home drinking, rather than portraying a truly realistic stance. The reality is that most Irish people are capable of enjoying a few drinks in their homes without going overboard.

“This year’s shortlisted entries highlight the side of Ireland’s drinking culture that reality TV shows forget to mention: the cost of heavy drinking for your health, your family and your future,” said Fionnuala Sheehan. “They also demonstrate how people can be more sensible in their approach to alcohol, for example by drinking water in between alcoholic drinks, or by using smartphone technology to keep track of how much they have drank and when they have reached their limit.

The shortlisted entries in DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie will now go forward for judging by a panel of prestigious film and multimedia industry insiders, including Miriam Allen, Managing Director of the Galway Film Fleadh; blogger Darragh Doyle; Gavin Burke, presenter of ‘Cinerama’ on Phantom 105.2; Ciarán Norris, Head of Digital with Mindshare; and Scott Ahearn, Welfare Officer with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).

The judges will award €1,000 prizes to the best film and multimedia entries, and €500 prizes to the runners-up in each category. As well as the prizes awarded by the judging panel, one film and one multimedia entry will win special ‘public vote’ prizes: all shortlisted entries are available to view online, and members of the public can vote for their favourite entries up until 5pm on Wednesday, 18th April.

For further information – and to cast your vote for your favourite entry – log on to: www.DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie.