Laois Asked to Organise Events to Mark Ireland’s First National Alcohol Awareness Week

Ireland’s first Alcohol Awareness week will take place from 18-22 March. The campaign spearheaded by the Alcohol Forum, a national charity working to reduce alcohol-related harms, is asking schools, community groups, organsiations, companies and individuals in Laois to host an event or mark the week in some way.

It’s hoped the campaign will raise further awareness of, and challenge communities to re-evaluate, their role in tackling Ireland’s harmful drinking culture.

Alcohol Forum Chairman, Pat Harvey says, “We have developed a series of products to support communities help themselves when it comes to reducing alcohol-related harms. The evidence is that communities have a major role to play in starting a process of mindset and culture change.

“Over the past number of years the Alcohol Forum has worked on developing a toolkit for Community groups and organisations, some of which will be launched during Alcohol Awareness Week.”

A series of events will take place throughout the week including a conference entitled, “The Power of Local Community in Reducing Harmful Drinking”. This will run alongside Ireland’s National Healthcare Conference taking place in the National Convention Centre Dublin on Wednesday 20th March.

Speakers include Minister Alex White TD, Junior Minister for Health; Dr. Ann Hope, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Trinity College Dublin and Dr. Walter Kern Scheffeldt, Clinical Psychologist, Zurich University of Teacher Education.

Anne Timony Meehan, Community Mobilisation Officer with Alcohol Forum will illustrate evidence-based community initiatives. This presentation will be supported with contributions from Karen Johnson, Deputy Chair of the National Forum of Family Resource Centres, Donna Butler, Programme Manager, Families Matter and Hugh Greaves Co-ordinator Ballymun Local Drug Task Force. The session will be chaired by Tom Frawley, Northern Ireland Ombudsman.

The Soapbox session is predicted to be thought-provoking and hard-hitting. Among those taking part are John Waters, Irish Times Columnist, Fiona Ryan, CEO Alcohol Action Ireland, John Logue, President Union of Students in Ireland, Denis Bradley, former Vice Chair of Northern Ireland Policing Board and Eamon O’Kane, Director Derry Healthy Cities and Alcohol Forum North South Strategist.

A number of products available through the Alcohol Forum will be launched during Alcohol Awareness Week. These include a Festival Care Guide, Spirit of Sport and a Community Mobilisation Toolkit. There are plans to launch a 5 km run and walk fundraiser later in the year.

Organisations around the country are invited to host their own alcohol awareness event in association with National Alcohol Awareness Week and details of all events will be added to the calendar.

For more information on National Alcohol Awareness Week and National Alcohol Conference log onto

To register for conference or to register an event for Alcohol Awareness Week call 074-9125596 or email

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