While we can't read more than the first paragraph (because of their paywall) it appears to query drink consumption and quantities consumed...
It appears that we drink to mark the start of 'downtime', to mark the end of the work day or just because we like the taste (notwithstanding that some people have a reliance/dependency) of wine, gin etc.
There are many reasons why we Irish (the stereo-typed heavy consumers) drink, but surely it's not that simple? We drink with a nice meal, when meeting friends in the pub, at the BBQ or whatever but it's different for everyone.
The bottom line is that putting everyone in the same (alcohol-fused) group is just lazy journalism. Are the couple who have a glass of wine every night with their dinner the same as the man who goes for 6 pints every night?
There are problems with alcohol consumption that cannot be disputed, but not everyone who drinks is 'escaping' their real life.