Now, I'm not a parent. Let me just say that before I can be accused of not having a leg to stand on!
But the case of the Irish couple whose kids were taken off them in Portugal because they got so drunk is something else. While I completely agree that they should not have got so drunk, and that the authorities were right to remove the kids from them while they recovered, it has to be acknowledged that there is a bigger issue here.
Irish parents do this all the time. In Ireland. And who looks after the kids then?
I've known families in my own home village to spend the entire weekend in the pub, with kids going from pub to shop, sitting out on the street and waiting, just waiting, for their parents to get drunk enough so that someone will give them a lift to their home, miles away. And who looked after them?
Nobody. Because here we have a culture of not interfering. While it was well-known that that family followed the same pattern every week, who was going to interfere and make sure those children were safe and well? Because that would entail a) suggesting there's something wrong with drinking yourself stupid and b) interfering in 'someone else's business'.
And those are two things Irish people are not good at. While we are all going around tut-tutting and using our well rehearsed exclamations of disgust, it might be time for us to look in the mirror and ask ourselves what we would have done in the same situation as the hotel staff.
Irish hotel staff probably would have manoeuvred the couple back to their room and kept the kids occupied (in the bar!) while they slept it off.