Campaigning for Change Seminar

Evidence-based solutions for alcohol harm

Alastair Campbell

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, invites you to attend a free campaigning seminar for organisations interested in alcohol-related issues, at 6.30 p.m. on Monday, March 3, at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin.

Alastair Campbell, well-known from his time as Director of Communications and Strategy with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, will be offering the benefit of his vast experience of political campaigning and strategy at the highest levels to those seeking to reduce alcohol-related harm and improve public health and wellbeing  in Ireland.

Mr Campbell, who has spoken openly about his own alcoholism and recently published a novel, ’My Name Is,’ about a young woman’s descent into alcoholism, is a strong advocate for the implementation of evidence-based policies, such as minimum pricing, to tackle alcohol-related harm.

Public Health Specialist Dr Declan Bedford, a board member at Alcohol Action Ireland, will speak about his experience advocating for evidence-based policy measures in Ireland, which included the successful campaign for the introduction of random breath testing, which has substantially reduced the number of deaths on our roads since its implementation in 2006.

The campaigning seminar will be chaired by Dil Wickremasinghe, activist, broadcaster with Newstalk and Director of Insight Matters.

Suzanne Costello, CEO of Alcohol Action Ireland, said that this is a critical time for alcohol policy in Ireland, with the proposed Public Health (Alcohol) Bill  offering an unprecedented opportunity to begin to address our harmful relationship with alcohol through a number of evidence-based policies targeting the pricing, marketing and availability of alcohol.

“We know that the vast majority of Irish people are concerned about our harmful relationship with alcohol and believe that our Government must take action to protect the health and wellbeing of the public, particularly children and young people, but to ensure that decisive action is taken this concern must be clearly communicated to our TDs and Ministers.”

This free seminar will take place on  Monday, March 3, 2014, at the Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2, from   6.30 to 8 p.m.

To register for this event please email

For further information please email or call 01-8780610.

Alastair Campbell is a writer, communicator and strategist best known for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy. Still active in politics in Britain and overseas, he now splits his time between writing, speaking, charitable fundraising, consultancy and campaigns.

Dr Declan Bedford  is  a specialist in Public Health Medicine with particular interest in alcohol and road safety. Dr Bedford worked with the Health Service Executive (HSE) and acted as Director of Public Health in the North East for seven years until his retirement in 2012.   He has been a member of a number of Government policy groups, most recently the National Substance Misuse Strategy Steering Group, and is a board member of Alcohol Action Ireland.

Dil Wickremasinghe was born in Italy and is a Sri Lankan national who moved to Ireland 12 years ago. Her work as a broadcaster, journalist, stand-up comedian, social entrepreneur and equality and personal development trainer is geared towards a vision of living in an inclusive and equal Ireland. Dil is also Mental Health Ambassador to both One in Four and See Change.