IBDI – Pastoral Response to Substance Misuse

Irish Bishops’ Drugs Initiative of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference

This Council comes under the Episcopal Commission for Pastoral Care

Contact details

Irish Bishops’ Drugs Initiative
New House
St Patrick’s College
Co. Kildare
Tel: +353 (0)1 505 3044 Mobile: +353 (0)86 861 1531
Email: ibdi@iecon.ie
Web: www.irishbishopsdrugsinitiative.com

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Ms Patricia Conway (Chair)
Bishop Éamonn Walsh (Vice Chair)
Ms Kathleen Kelleher
Fr Eamon Treanor
Mr Chris Murphy
Mr Kevin Nelson


The IBDI was established in 1997 as a Catholic Church response to the growing problem of drug / alcohol misuse in Ireland.

The IBDI seeks to mobilise parish communities, together with other service providers, to make appropriate pastoral responses to prevent alcohol and drug misuse, and to respond to issues arising from the problematic use of alcohol and other drugs.

The core values of the IBDI are founded on our Christian ethos and Catholic faith, along with the underlying principles of: respect, equality, partnership, pastoral care, professionalism and accountability.


The IBDI works alongside clergy, pastoral councils or interested parties in parishes in assessing the gap and needs of the parish in relation to drug and alcohol problems. The work of the IBDI includes:

  • Providing regional seminars for parish communities to raise awareness and knowledge of alcohol and other drugs, and allow communities to meet service providers and other parishes
  • Supporting parishes in a strategic approach to the prevention of drug / alcohol problems in their communities by helping them to mobilise and formulate evidenced-based responses to alcohol/drug prevention.
  • Providing ongoing training for parishes as they advance through the parish initiative programme levels
  • Supporting the Walk Tall & SPHE schools programmes as well as other complementary programmes that help in drug prevention in schools
  • Building on partnerships with other alcohol / drug service providers at local parish and diocesan levels
  • Providing regular information updates to parishes, clergy and diocesan hierarchy on current relevant issues and responses in alcohol / drug prevention through meetings, newsletters and online

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