Wednesday 24 September 2014

Time to tackle alcohol abuse

GAA seminar to look at alcohol abuse among young teenagers

Published 15/10/2013 | 05:40

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Pictured at the launch of St Mary's GAA Club's Alcohol Awareness seminar were: Gerry Moore, Manager Sligo Park; Colin Regan, GAA Croke Park; Austin O’Callaghan, BBC Sport NI; David Keane, Event Organiser; John Kent, St Mary’s Senior Manager; Gerard O’Kelly Lynch, St Mary’s Minor Player and Mark Breheny, Club ASAP Officer.

Against a background of growing concern over alcohol abuse by young teenagers, a Sligo GAA club is taking steps to tackle the issue.

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St. Mary's GAA club are hosting an alcohol awareness evening in the Sligo Park Hotel on Thursday (8pm)

Club member, David Keane, the organiser of the event, says the evening is a response to the growing alcohol problem among young teenagers, some as young as 13 years of age.

"This is not an issue that is peculiar to any one club, any individual sport, or any one town or county," he explains.

"It's a problem that is causing concern nationally.

"At St. Mary's we've been doing great work in provding sporting outlets for young children.

"And this is just an extension of that - a way of warning young people about the dangers that are out there.

"It's about putting the information before them and letting them know the choices in lifestyle that are there

"We are the only GAA club in the county with a bar in our clubhouse so we are always conscious of the relationship between alcohol and sport.

"There is general agreement that alcohol abuse is a growing problem among young people.

"This event is a way of focussing on the issue in a postive way."

The evening, which is being organised in association with the North West Regional Drugs and Alcohol Task Force, will be addressed by a number of key note speakers.

The main theme of the discussions will be on topics relating to alcohol, sport and young adults.

BBC sports journalist, Austin O'Callaghan, will be MC for the evening and speakers will include Dr. Stephen Stewart, one of the top liver specialists in the country, young Cavan goalkeeper, Alan O'Mara, former Leitrim footballer, Gareth Foley, Colin Regan, the GAA's Community and Health Promotion manager, Sligo footballer, Eamonn O'Hara, and Laois footballer, Ross Munnelly.

"All of these people have their own powerful stories to tell," says David.

"The hope is that they will inspire, inform and warn young people in equal measure".

Sligo Champion

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