“Leadership is key to changing the way in which we consume alcohol in Ireland.” This is a message that was considered at a unique event attended by representatives from a range of sectors and is being organised by local charity NW Alcohol Forum Ltd (NWAF) with support from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).
The seminar was officially opened by Mayor Councillor Matt Lyons and was addressed by the Cathaoirleach Councillor Joe Leonard, who outlined the Local Authority perspective on the impact of alcohol abuse on service delivery.
- Mayor Councillor Matt Lyons with Audrey Melville and John Brennan at the 'Leadership for Change' seminar
Commenting on the event Mr Pat Harvey, Chairman of NWAF said
“Alcohol has a valuable role in Irish Life. While this is respected and welcomed we do however also have a culture that is too complacent about harmful drinking levels. As communities and society we must do something about bringing about cultural change to tackle the negative fallouts that are manifest in so many ways.The Leadership for Change alcohol culture event is a key opportunity for local interests to develop their understanding of the issue and also to formulate a response.”
It is estimated that one person dies every seven hours of an alcohol related condition in Ireland and nationally we have the highest level of self reported binge drinking in Europe.
Friday’s event in Sligo’s Radisson Hotel brought together representatives from a range of sectors to consider how society can work more effectively to bring about positive changes in harmful alcohol consumption.
Marian Harkin MEP has been working closely with NWAF on the development of the event and will be chairing proceedings on the day. The event was also been planned to coincide with a weekend that sees Sligo play host to the country’s first mind altering substance free music festival, ‘Lovin’ Life’. The timing makes it a fitting time to kick start conversations about how people in Sligo can enable leadership processes to reduce current levels of alcohol related harm.
Participants in the event heard from representatives of the HSE, An Garda Síochána, Sligo County Council, Vintners and the community about their experiences of alcohol related issues. They will also be afforded an opportunity to engage in dialogue and visioning exercises that will seek to outline a leadership approach that will put communities at the centre of effecting change.
NW Alcohol Forum Ltd
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Telephone - 074 9125596
Fax - 074 9125616
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