Photographs from the 2017 Pioneer Ball

2017ball22A few of the many photos from the 21st Pioneer National Ball held in Athlone on Saturday 8th April 2017! 

Over 250 people were in attendance. Thanks so much to everyone who came and supported the event in any way. We had a fantastic time are are thrilled with the turnout for the Ball and the other activities over the weekend - lots more photos to come!!

Watch this space!!

Pioneer 2017 Appeal

roconnor 01Raymond O'Connor is Project Co-Ordinator of the Pioneer and Total Abstinence Association in Ireland. In this interview with Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications he talks about the Irish nation's attitude to drink, the role the Pioneers seek to play in promoting the health and spiritual well-being of Irish society and the urgent need for public funding to continue their work.

 Click here to listen to the interview:Battling the Booze 

Pioneer Appeal 2017


Pioneer Association launches new appeal for funding

As St Patrick's Day approaches and some prepare to 'drown the shamrock,'the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association is launching its nationwide Fundraising Appeal for 2017 on Tuesday 14 March, and asking people to drink in moderation. The fundraising appeal is necessary to ensure the financial viability of the Association which has made such a significant contribution to the stability of family life over so many decades, both in Ireland and overseas. Appeal Poster2

Raymond O'Connor, Project Co-ordinator of the Pioneers says, "We want everyone to enjoy our national holiday - a day in which we take pride in being Irish. But we know it is also a day that can be marred by the fall out from excessive drinking. So we're asking those who do take a drink to do so in moderation".

A specially important part of its work is in encouraging young people to stay off alcohol until eighteen and off drugs for life. (Watch short video ‘Make a Difference’ here.) This video features the song ‘Gravity’ by the artist Eden and was compiled as a collaboration project between the Pioneer Association and a group of business students from UCD.

The Jesuits have supported the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart (PTAA) since its foundation in 1898 and have kept it going throughout much of its 120-year history. From January 2018 onwards, the Jesuit involvement will cease and the PTAA will now operate as a Private Lay Association of the Faithful.

The PTAA, as a registered charity, is currently undergoing a period of change as a result and will strive to carry on the good work of the Association with the aid of donations from a generous public.

Speaking at the launch of the Pioneer Appeal, Raymond O’Connor, Project Co-Ordinator, (photo attached) said: ‘’We would like to thank the Jesuits for their governance and guidance of the Association over the past 120 years. The inspiration of the founder Fr. James Cullen, SJ, to tackle the issue of alcohol abuse which was rampant at that time in Irish society, began with four women and today the association has approximately 130,000 members in Ireland alone with many more members in countries abroad.”

According to Raymond O’Connor, the need for the work of the Pioneers is greater than ever in the Ireland of today. “The contribution of the Pioneer way of life has a positive impact on Irish life and culture - a culture that we celebrate with pride on St Patrick's Day. It's a family day too and we want to show our young people that we can enjoy and celebrate as a nation without having to get drunk."

Pioneers are involved in various organisations that build up the life of the local community, according to Raymond O' Connor, and “many families and homes have benefited greatly from the individual Pioneer’s sacrifice from alcohol. Benefits, in terms of health, finances, peace and harmony in the home, enhanced relationships, and community volunteering."

The Pioneer Association promotes and encourages people in Ireland today to drink in moderation and its own members abstain completely from alcohol.

The Pioneer Association is inviting its members and the wider public to support this appeal and contribute generously towards it. “As Pioneers, we are known throughout Ireland for our tradition of giving to others and of our service to the community”, says Raymond O’Connor. “Any money we receive from people will help sustain the Association in its efforts to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol abuse in our society. As always, we rely on the generosity and good will of our members and friends of the Pioneer Association and we are grateful to them for their ongoing support.”

Further information regarding the Pioneer Appeal

To arrange an interview contact: Raymond O’Connor: 01 874 9464


2017 Lenten Pledge

Short-Term Pledge for Lent - Why not take on the challenge?

The Pioneer Association launches its Lenten Campaign for 2017.

Take time out from alcohol this Lent. Use the opportunity to make positive changes to your life. Give your mind and body a break from alcohol. Join the many people worldwide who will take the Pioneer short-term pledge for Lent.

Click here for more details




Pioneer Pilgrimage to Fatima & Compostela

Pioneer Pilgrimage 2017

Christmas at the Pioneer Office

treeManagement and staff wishes all our Pioneer members, families and friends a very happy peaceful and Holy Christmas and best wishes for 2017.

Please note that Central Office will be closed from Friday 23rd December (after 1pm) and will re-open on Tuesday 3rd January 2017. Enjoy!

Promoting Sobriety for a better society.

Fr. Jim Naughton RIP

Fr. Jim NaugtonFr. Jim Naughton, for many years the spiritual director of the Pioneer Association in Scotland, has died recently. Requiem Mass will be celebrated, followed by burial, at the Church of St. Joseph, Kilclarin, Feakle, Co. Clare on Friday December 30th 2016 at 11.30am. Our sympathies are with his family, the priests of the Motherwell Diocese and the Pioneers of Scotland.

(In Photo: Fr. Jim (left) with the late Fr. Dan Dargan, SJ


Please fill in this order form for a friend to receive a copy of Pioneer magazine as a gift from you and we will be happy to send your gift each month for 2017.

magazine subscription for 2017

Pioneer Ball 2017

Planned activities and events for the 21st National Ball Weekend (7th-9th April 2017)


Advent 2016

The Advent Challenge
Take the Short-Term Pledge for the season of Advent in preparation for Christmas.

Click here for more details