Mature Enjoyment of Alcohol in Society

'Alcohol and the Community' Conference (2005)

11 October 2005

Held in the new Clarion Hotel on Lapps Quay, Cork, European City of Culture in 2005, this Conference was the third in a series hosted by MEAS concerning the topic of 'Alcohol and Society'.

There is increasing acceptance in Ireland that we have an alcohol problem and one that cuts across many age-groups, boys and girls, and social classes.  Related to this acceptance is the recognition that because the problem runs deep, and has a range of determinants, addressing the problem will require a number of lines of action. Regardless of how effectively it is implemented no single action plan will of itself solve the problem, nor can any one party on its own solve the problem. 

Integrated, community based, action plans have the potential to contribute positively to addressing the problem.  While communities exist in a range of settings in Ireland, both urban and rural, their structures and populations have changed dramatically in recent years.  

What changes have occurred in the places we now work and play in? What role has alcohol played in these changing environments? What contribution can community based programmes supported by the principal stakeholders make to help the alcohol problem? Are there examples of best practice we can learn from? 

The Conference aimed to:

  • Promote an awareness of the changing physical, social and economic environment in Ireland, and the role of alcohol within this changing environment
  • Bring an international perspective to bear on the issue of alcohol in Ireland – and on our understanding of this issue in the context of community and environmental change
  • Promote best practice in integrated, community based, initiatives
  • Encourage informed debate on community based alcohol initiatives
  • Identify key areas for further debate, analysis and policy development