independent advocate reducing alcohol harm

Eunan McKinney to step down from the role as Head of Communications and Advocacy

Eunan McKinney has decided to step down from the role as Head of Communications and Advocacy with Alcohol Action Ireland in October, 2022. Having spent much of the last ten years, working both inside and outside of government, negotiating and influencing the historical developments in Ireland’s public health alcohol policy, he steps away now with tangible progress on reducing alcohol harm having been made.

The enactment of the Public Health Alcohol Act, 2018 was, and remains, central to driving behavioural change of alcohol use within Ireland’s drinking population. And while some aspects remain to be commenced, significant measures on alcohol price, promotion and placement are now established, adding real momentum to curbing demand and enhancing people’s understanding of the inherent risk to their health and wellbeing from alcohol use.

Alcohol Action have now opened the process to recruit a new Advocacy and Communications Lead; details are available at:

/about/vacancies/

 

Reflecting on a decade of campaigning, Eunan McKinney, said:

This has been an extraordinary journey. Along the way, it has been a real honour to collaborate with so many dedicated and talented people, none more so than those who work every day to restore, and rebuild the lives of the many impacted by alcohol harm. I’m proud to have played a small part in advancing, what has been, a historic shift in public policy to address alcohol harm.

Advocacy in the realm of public health policy that seeks systematic change, but which threatens the commercial opportunities of powerful economic actors, is challenging. It demands ever ready innovation, persistence and positive resilience, but also the collective support of strategic alliances and partnership, both nationally and internationally, who together amplify the call for meaningful action.

Much remains to be done, particularly on improving the possibilities of recovery for so many impacted by alcohol, and encouraging Government to recognise the need for a dedicated Office on Alcohol Harm.

As to the future, I hope to bring my extensive advocacy campaigning, media communications and strategic public affairs experience, in a new consultancy capacity, to further policy interventions that can address other protracted public issues.