14 September 2010
Parish Alcohol Initiative encourages parents to seek alternative ways to celebrate Junior Certificate results
John Taaffe Coordinator of the IBDI, said “The publication of Junior Certificate results this week marks a significant milestone in the lives of many young people who have completed many years of hard work. Teachers, parents and extended families deserve great credit for their support and guidance to young people over this period and they can rightly share in their success.
“The results also provide an opportune time for parents to educate their young people on alcohol and how easily it can adversely affect their lives. Stories and images of alcohol excess, which mar the annual publication of the results, can be prevented if a responsible attitude toward the dangers of alcohol has already been instilled in our young people.
“Parents are the first educators of their children. Celebrations of milestones in the lives of children are special and memorable events but they need not always involve alcohol. To parents who feel powerless when it comes to their children’s attitude and relationship with alcohol I strongly urge them to avail of existing resources and supports aimed at young people which encourage a healthy attitude towards their own wellbeing and which highlight the effect of alcohol and other drugs.
“We know that peer pressure has a huge impact on the decisions made by young people concerning drugs and alcohol. However young people are as influenced by what their parents do and say in relation to alcohol as they are by their peers. It is vitally important for parents to discuss the issue of alcohol with their children and to offer them alternatives.”
Ms Patricia Conway Chairperson of the Initiative concluded “As we congratulate the Junior Certificate class of 2010, I ask parents to talk to their young people about alcohol, related peer pressure and alternative ways to celebrate this important success in your child’s life.”
Notes to Editors
- Patricia Conway is chair and Bishop Éamon Walsh, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, is vice chair of the Irish Bishops’ Drugs Initiative. The IBDI was established in 1997 as a Catholic Church response to the growing problem of drug / alcohol misuse in Ireland. Our vision is to enable parishes to use a pastoral response in partnership with other service providers to respond to the primary and secondary prevention of drug / alcohol harms in parish communities. Since 2007 the IBDI has been coordinated by Mr John Taaffe who works in drug and alcohol prevention activities in 150 parishes across the country.
- The following ten Parish Initiatives are link parishes in regions : Mooncoin – Piltown Parishes in the Ossory Diocese, Kilsaran, Blackrock / Haggardstown Parishes in Armagh Diocese, Kingscourt in Meath Diocese, Abbeyfeale in Limerick Diocese, Kilmore Parish in Ferns Diocese. Piltown Parish in Dromore Diocese, Cavan Town in Kilmore Diocese and St Oliver Plunkett’s in Down & Connor Diocese
- 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. Parish projects are offered training in order to promote best practice in the provision of primary and secondary prevention of substance abuse and misuse. The parish initiative is expected to be collaboration work between the Church and other key stakeholders from community / voluntary groups alongside the Health Service Executive Addiction Services.
- For more information see www.catholicbishops.ie or www.yourdrinking.ie
- See dedicated DVD Find the Balance: Dare to Dream for young people on the theme of alcohol from the Irish Bishops’ Drug Initiative on www.catholicbishops.ie and also on YouTube. Find the Balance: Dare to Dream was originally produced as a resource for schools and youth groups.
John Taaffe, National Coordinator Irish Bishops’ Drugs Initiative 086 861 1531
Martin Long, Director of Communications, Catholic Communications Office 086 172 7678