Cork Community Action on Alcohol Northside (CAAN)

(Knocknaheeny, Hollyhill, Gurranabraher, Churchfield)

Senator Frances Black launched the Cork Community Action on Alcohol Northside (Knocknaheeny, Hollyhill, Gurranabraher, Churchfield) local Action Plan on Alcohol on Monday the 3rd April 2017 in Terence McSwiney Community College in Knocknaheeny.

The launch coincided with a performance of the play, “Billy’s Choice”; this is a new play highlighting the damage caused by alcohol. The main theme of “Billy’s Choice” is based upon the choices adults make involving alcohol. Over 100 community members, local agencies, local councillors & TD’s attended on the night. Local residents were inspired by Senator Black’s emotive speech seeking support for the Public Health Alcohol Bill currently being discussed in Seanad Eireann. Mr. David Lane, Coordinator of Drug & Alcohol Services in CHO 4 & Chair of the Cork & Kerry Alcohol Strategy Group, also encouraged local people to contact their local T.D’s to ensure the Public Health Alcohol Bill is passed in its entirety. The reality of how parental attitudes have a major influence on our young people’s behaviour towards alcohol was strongly highlighted during the outstanding performance from Cyclone Productions. 

As part of the action plan, UCC carried out a household survey in these communities with 358 adults over the age of 18. The aim of this study was to determine the consumption pattern, attitudes and behaviours among this population group. The findings from the household survey which was presented by Dr. Martin Davoren at the launch very much correspond with national trends in terms of consumption patterns. Encouragingly over 60% surveyed believe alcohol should be sold in separate premises to food and other household products. Also almost 80% of participants believe that alcohol advertising targeting young people should be banned in Ireland. Local Community Representative Karen Duke presented on the actions identified within the Local Action on Alcohol Plan and encouraged other local residents to become involved with the Community Action on Alcohol North Side whose Mission Statement is “Having ‘conversations’ in our community and taking local action to reduce harms caused by alcohol.” Karen cited, “We are very optimistic about our local action plan on alcohol, we will make every effort to get our communities to change attitudes and behaviours towards alcohol”. Using community development approaches & principles, the local group will strive to mobilise the community to achieve the goals of their Local Action Plan under the pillars of Supply, Education & Prevention, Treatment & Rehabilitation, Research and Monitoring & Evaluation.  

Following on from the play, there was a question and answer session facilitated by local Community Representatives. Information on local alcohol supports and services was also highlighted on the evening. Sandra Coughlan, Interim Manager, Health Promotion and Improvement (South) commented “It is vital that we continue to work together to increase public awareness about the potential harmful effects of alcohol, the HSE recently launched our AskAboutAlcohol.ie website which provides expert information on alcohol risk to help people manage their own health better, and to ensure risk of alcohol harm is minimised for their families and communities.” 

The launch of the Local Action Plan on Alcohol North Side brought key stakeholders from Community Representatives, Cork Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force, Cork City Partnership, Health Promotion & Improvement HSE, Local Cork City Councillor; Youth Work Ireland Cork together to work collectively over the past year to discuss the damaged caused by alcohol in our communities.

The communities of Youghal Co.Cork & Listowel Co. Kerry also launched their Local Action on Alcohol Plan’s on April 4th & 5th respectively. All three events were hugely successful in creating greater local knowledge in communities about alcohol.

Click on the link to view the local action plan: CAAN ActionPlan

Keep up to date on whats happening with the Community Action on Alcohol Plan Northside by following their Facebook page here: CAAN Facebook