Forthcoming research

Alcohol-free Halloween

The Drug and Alcohol Task Force is expecting to sponsor a pilot scheme whereby 3-4 youth/community organisations operate once-off events that are specifically designed to divert young people from alcohol and drug behaviour during Halloween next. Events could include cafe, discos, drinks party, street dance, Halloween parade, but there must be an emphasis on no drugs, no alcohol.  

The organisation must be a youth/community group and have a team of adults to run the event, and young people must also be involved. A formal application process -seeking full details and proposals will be put into train during July. It is expected to be able to provide funding of €1,000-€2,000 for each event. For now, we are seeking expressions of interest; thus if you think your organisation might wish to apply to be included, write or email Marie Kavanagh at the Task Force by July 7th, 2017. 

Marie Kavanagh, DLR Drug and Alcohol Task Force, c/o Southside Partnership, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.

Youth At-Risk Network: Follow-up

Networking supports: youth at risk

The Task Force and Southside Partnership are together organizing a follow-up, between now and March 2018, to the Youth At Risk Café Conversation that we jointly hosted in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Hall recently (May 18th). We expect that our follow-up will help a Youth At-Risk Network to develop and grow organically, so that hopefully by March/April next year, it will have an internal leadership structure and a programme for its further development. We see our role as facilitating the process of helping the network to form and are undertaking to do the following by way of assisting this process.


We envisage organising four separate, thematic workshops (September, November, January and March), between September ’17 – March ’18, and we also envisage the following themes:

  • Working in an integrated, coordinated manner, with children and young people who are living at home in adverse, addiction-related circumstances and conditions (September 14th).
  • Ethical issues for practitioners in helping young people navigate the questions, pressures and harms associated with cannabis use (November 16th).
  • Connecting at-risk young people who are not living at home to more coordinated services and supports (TBA).
  • Understanding both the benefits and the harms for young people arising from the use of social media (TBA).

We expect that some of these titles might be modified as we proceed. It is envisaged that each workshop will follow a similar structure, albeit with some variation to improve the overall experience. Basically we expect to have two inputs into each workshop, to be made by a specialist in the relevant field, in conversation style: thus rather than do a formal presentation with Powerpoint or overheads, each presenter will be interviewed conversational style, by an experienced interviewer, who will be familiar with the material. 

Each input will be followed by facilitated, small-group conversations to build and share the knowledge on each particular topic. A final small group and plenary session will focus on what’s being learned to grow the network. Each workshop will be followed up with a brief summary report, which will be circulated to participants and other interested parties.

 2. Planning meetings

We intend convening planning meetings to develop ideas and suggestions in relation to the above workshops. It is envisaged that each workshop will  have at least one such meeting, but we can convene additional meetings if this is needed. The planning meetings will be focused on workshop content and how this might be best presented, structured and facilitated; we’ll look after the practical details ourselves, i.e. venues, flyers, refreshments, etc. Ultimately we would hope that the planning group will become the core group for establishing and maintaining the network, and that the planning period will help people adopt this role. The first planning meeting is set for Thursday, July 13th 11.00am-1.00pm in the Boardroom, Southside Partnership. Please let us know if you would wish to be involved in the planning process. Email:; 087-6494922 (Barry)

3. Resource material

We are currently in the process of setting up a resource material section on our website with the theme “Youth At-Risk”. To get an idea of how this work you could visit our current resource page on Domestic Violence and Substance Misuse

This resource page should give you an idea of the type of content that a “Youth At-Risk” page might host. Indeed, if you have any suggestions in relation to such content we would welcome if you could send us a link and we’ll put that up.

4. Directory

A directory of relevant services and projects for young people in DLR was completed within the last 6 months “I’ve had enough, I’m outta here”. If you currently do not have a copy of this directory we will be happy to send you on multiple copies for sharing with your colleagues. Please contact Marie at  01-7060125 and she will send you on copies. Meanwhile, we are investigating if we can upload this information onto a database that could be accessed and searched through our website.

 5. Social media

Finally, you are reminded that both the Drug and Alcohol Task Force and Southside Partnership have Facebook pages and we do our best to keep these updated. If you have a Facebook page we invite you to like us for up-to-date information (click below)


In due course, we are hoping to create a separate Facebook page for the Youth At-Risk Network, but it is a bit early for that just now.



Geoffrey Shannon Audit on Garda Section 12 actions

Under section 12 of the Child Care Act 1991, gardaí may remove a child into a safe place if they believe there is an immediate and serious risk to his or her health or welfare. This power is separate from the power of social workers to apply to court to remove children. Following an inquiry by the Ombudsman into two cases in 2013 when Roma children with blond hair, in Tallaght, Co Dublin, and Athlone, Co Westmeath, were removed from their families by gardaí using these emergency powers, the Garda Commissioner, Nóirín O’Sullivan in 2014, commissioned an audit on more than 5,400 removals of children recorded on the Pulse system, the Garda computerised records system, from 2008 to 2015. 

   The Audit was published on Monday 30th May, and it outlines numerous gaps in the system particularly in relation to cooperation between the gardai, Tusla and other agencies. In presenting the report, Geoffrey Shannon was particularly scathing on the role of alcohol in contributing to the conditions whereby it becomes necessary to use section 12, and was more generally critical of the role of alcohol in Irish society. The report is quite extensive so the Task Force decided to circulate a condensed version relating to drugs and alcohol. Using the search words "drugs" "substance" "alcohol" and "intoxi" we extracted a selection of pages, - with relevant keywords highlighted - which are now in a single pdf, and which are re-numbered 1-32. If you have not already read the report we suggest you at least read these extracts; it should take no more than 30 minutes. 

   The first two pages are the guidance given to Garda for section 12, while the remainder are the drug and alcohol extracts. The final page is highly relevant as it contain's Shannon's recommendation in relation to Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Some of this reading, as it relates to children, is very harrowing. The Task Force will be giving consideration soon to explore more deeply actions it can take arising from the hidden harms to children from the over-consumption of alcohol in society.

The 32 page extract is available as download

The full report is also available as download

Youth At-Risk Event (short Video)

Thanks and ongratulations to everbody who participated in the Youth At-Risk Cafe Conversation on May 11th. In all we had 45 participants from services all over the county area, including FRCs (Ballyogan, Balally, Rosemount) Crosscare youth services, Youthreach, Sportsreach, Smylys (Glensilva & after care services), Exchange House, Southside Travellers, Barnardos, HSE, St. Laurence College, Garda JLO, Dublin & Dun Laoghaire Education & Training Board, Southside Partnership, Community Addiction Team, Mounttown Neighbourhood Youth & Family Project, Tusla (child welfare teams, after-care, education welfare, & CYPSC), Cottage Homes and the Drug & Alcohol Task Force.  It was a great day and there will be a follow-up soon.

See Short Video

Cafe conversation: Youth At-Risk

A Cafe Conversation / Networking event for people in DLR who work with youth at risk takes place Thursday, May 11th, 10.00-1.00pm, in the County Hall, Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire. The purpose is to have a safe, friendly space to explore the current issues that arise for young people current;ly at-risk, and to make plans for a more integrated response to their needs.

More information

Self regulation is no regulation

A policy seminar, “Self Regulation is No Regulation: The Case for Protecting Children from Alcohol Marketing” will be hosted by Alcohol Action Ireland and European Alcohol Policy Alliance in Brussels on Wednesday, 7th June. The event will explore measures to protect children from alcohol marketing, across EU member states, and will also provide an update on the progress in Irish legislation.    

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MI Conference

International Motivational Interviewing Conference Ireland has been announced for October, to take place in Croke Park Conference Centre. Early Bird price available until July 1

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Tribute to Dara Quigley

Irish Times journalist, Kitty Holland, pays tribute to writer and recovering drug addict, Dara Quigley, who died recently. Inspired by Quigley’s concern that responses to drug addiction were framing addicts as people who needed to be contained and controlled, Holland poses important questions about the forthcoming National Drug Strategy, and makes references to the strong likelihood that the new Strategy will shift emphasis from supporting the most affected communities to treating them, and potentially blaming them.

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Let’s talk about drugs awards announced

After a receiving close to 700 entries, the 2017 'Let's Talk about Drugs' National Youth Media Awards category winners and runners-up have been announced. The overall winner is Coláiste Eoin Finglas, for their song ‘Take Your Mask Off’.

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 © DLR - DATF, 2016   C/O Southside Partnership, Main st., Blackrock, Co. Dublin Tel: 01-7060125 / 087-6494922