Pioneer CEO Returns to his Native Leitrim to Address Pioneer Annual Dinner Dance
Padraig Brady, the Leitrim-born CEO of the Pioneer Association was guest speaker for the North Leitrim/West Cavan Pioneer Annual Dinner Dance which took place at Dorian's Hotel, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal after Mass in St Aidan’s Church, Kinlough, Co. Leitrim on Friday 26 March 2010.
Speaking on the topic of “What difference do the Pioneers make today?” Mr Brady said that while spirituality would remain core to the Pioneer Association’s beliefs, Pioneers must also embrace more practical initiatives to promote awareness of alcohol and drug abuse in Irish society. He cited the Association’s success with its recent Lenten campaign as an encouraging indicator of what the Pioneers can do nationally.
“Our approach at national level in both 2009 and 2010 for our Lenten Challenge was broadened and directed at non-Pioneers. We targeted non-Pioneers with a simple message- “if you drink alcohol, then drink it moderately.” We know that take–up of the Pioneer Lenten Challenge both in Leitrim and Cavan has been very encouraging and we look forward to building on this support in future Lenten campaigns”.
While the Pioneers will continue to promote its “drink moderately” message among drinkers, this messaging will not detract from the Association’s primary requirement that members abstain fully from alcohol.
Acccording to Mr Brady there is also a more social role for the Pioneers in the local Leitrim and Cavan communities. “We have the tacit support of the community in our various fund raising, social and spiritual events, and it is my firmly held opinion that the Pioneers should be out there on occasions such as the lead up to Christmas or Lent, providing leadership and giving something back to our own local communities. Work like this would indicate to the public at large that Pioneer meetings are not mere “talking shops”.
Mr Brady encouraged local Cavan and Leitrim Pioneers “to run a small symposium or conference annually on a regional basis, open to all members of the local community, and with other local organisations being invited to attend and where the problem of alcohol and drug abuse in the local community could be explored constructively.”
While the Pioneers have traditionally had an ageing membership profile, Mr Brady said that the Pioneers have proved for well over 100 years that “where there is a will, there is a way”. He said he looked forward to the Leitrim and Cavan Pioneers offering the same vision, inspiration, determination that will take the Association to a new and more prominent level in modern times.”
He concluded by offering the following challenge to the North Leitrim/West Cavan Pioneers “ have a look at yourselves in your community and if the Pioneers are absent, don’t just talk, do something positive about it and don’t leave it so someone else. It may well be the inspiration of the Sacred Heart that brings you to do this”.
Mr Brady extended his thanks to the Leitrim and Cavan Pioneers for inviting him to meet and address Pioneers in his home county.
Details of the Association’s ongoing 2010 Lenten campaign are available from www.pioneerassociation.ie as are details of Pioneer centres countrywide.