Event notice: Voices of Recovery night of music and chat to take place in Belfast, March 16

22 February 2024

Alcohol Action Ireland (AAI)’s new initiative, Voices of Recovery, aims to harness the lived experience of people in recovery from alcohol to drive policy change

An event to celebrate Voices of Recovery will take place at Queen’s University, Belfast on March 16. Professional musician and recovery advocate Shane McVicker and peer advocate Danielle Hughes will act as joint hosts. Shane and Danielle are from Belfast and have 18 years’ lived experience in recovery between them.

“We are delighted to be acting as joint hosts to the Voices of Recovery concert on Saturday 16th March in the Harty Room at Queen’s University in aid of Alcohol Action Ireland’s initiative to reduce alcohol harm,” they said. “Here we have seen deaths due to alcohol-specific causes rise by 46% in the past decade with a significant level due to alcoholic liver diseases. We are part of the Voices of Recovery initiative and hope to be voices for change.”

Well-known GAA sports personality, addiction counsellor and supporter of Voices of Recovery, Oisín McConville, himself in long-term recovery from gambling addiction, said:

“Voices of Recovery is a wonderful initiative by Alcohol Action Ireland that over time will help eliminate the shame and stigma around alcohol dependency and all addictions. This novel approach, whereby people in long-term recovery talk openly about their own recovery journeys, is to be welcomed and encouraged. Their alcohol-free event on March 16th in Belfast will be informative, enjoyable and will send you ‘singing all the way home’ on St Patrick’s weekend.”

The evening will feature performances from:

Celtic Kindness – The Story of Harpist Turlough O’Carolan

Crescendo Community Choir & Guests – with Keith Acheson

An evening full of music, poetry a song or two and much more.

The event, which is being generously supported by Smarmore Castle rehabilitation clinic, will also feature a unique fireside chat between Paddy Creedon, board member of AAI and the driving impetus behind the initiative, and Marion Rackard, co-founder of Silent Voices, an AAI initiative that aims to raise awareness about growing up with problem alcohol use in the home.

CEO of AAI Dr Sheila Gilheany said: “This presents a unique opportunity for someone in recovery and someone who grew up with a parent who had a problem with alcohol to talk about what are often two sides of the same coin. We must remember that very often people use alcohol as a way to cope with difficult life challenges. We are sold a myth that alcohol can ease pain, but actually it just creates more and that can trickle down through the generations. We are very grateful to Marion and Paddy for sensitively exploring the issues from two different perspectives.”


Editor’s notes:

  1. The Voices of Recovery initiative, led by people in recovery from alcohol, aims to remove the stigma around getting treatment for alcohol problems and to drive evidence-based policy change on issues such as better alcohol treatment services, curbs on alcohol marketing and holding the alcohol industry to account for the harm its product causes.
  1. Event details:

Saturday, 16 March 2024, 8pm

Harty Room

Queen’s University Belfast

University Road



Entry costs £10 (£5 concession). Book a place here