Pioneers Lenten Call

Minister Backs Pioneers’ 2010 Lenten Call: Drink Less Alcohol, Research Shows 147% Increase in Hospital Discharges with Alcohol-related Liver Disease

Tomorrow,  Ash Wednesday (17 February 2010), the Pioneers launch their 2010 Lenten campaign and will call on people to drink less alcohol during Lent and to think about their drinking habits.     
The Association’s Lenten message is specifically targeted at half of all Irish drinkers, that’s four in ten women and seven in ten men, who research findings show have a harmful pattern of drinking alcohol.  Commenting at the launch of its Lenten campaign, Pioneer CEO Padraig Brady said:

“Statistics show alcohol- related hospital discharges increased by 92% between 1995   and 2004. In the same period there was a staggering 147% increase in the number of hospital discharges with alcohol - related liver disease. These statistics are a source of real concern. However, we must not let the statistics become dehumanised. This Lent we would encourage people to think about the people, the lives, the families behind these statistics which will continue to grow unless we stop and think about our relationship with alcohol.

“Lent offers us an extended period of time when people can collectively come together  and set about taking on their own personal challenge for Lent. We would encourage people to consider taking up the Pioneer invitation this Lent and to drink less.” 

Welcoming the Pioneer Lenten initiative Aine Brady ,T.D., Minister for Older People and Health Promotion said:

" In order to tackle the problems associated with alcohol misuse we need to take responsibility both collectively and individually. There is a social acceptance of alcohol in our society and we need to question the signal that this is sending, particularly to our young people. Alcohol harm is not confined to the drinker but extends to the family, community and wider society. People should use every opportunity to reduce their consumption of alcohol and Lent is an ideal opportunity to make an extra effort."

Last year, the Pioneer Association ran a similar challenge for Lent and it was well received  and supported countrywide. The Pioneer Association has a network of centres countrywide, North and South. For further information on the Pioneers and their activities visit www.

Note to Editors:

1.      All cited research findings are taken from the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016

2.      Non-Pioneers who took up last year’s Pioneer Lenten challenge are available for interview.