Alcoholics Anonymous in Ireland

Alcoholics Anonymous in Ireland: AA’s first European experience.

Aims; To trace the evolution of Alcoholics Anonymous in Ireland from its establishment there in 1946, focusing on the efforts of early members to publicize the fellowship and negotiate a role for themselves in relation to existing religious and healthcare institutions.

Methods; Archival research – drawing mainly on primary sources in AA archives in New York and Dublin.

Results; Anticipated tensions between this fellowship, which had its roots in Evangelical Protestantism, and the politically powerful Roman Catholic Church in Ireland were skillfully avoided; initial hostility from the medical profession quickly dissipated; and AA distanced itself from policy debate on the wider topic of alcoholism as disease.

Conclusions; The relatively smooth introduction of AA to Ireland, the first European country in which it was established, may be attributed to the essentially pragmatic nature of the fellowship and the strategic abilities of its early members.

Research; Shane Butler, Tony Jordan (2007) Alcoholics Anonymous in Ireland: AA’s first European experience. Addiction 102 (6), 879-886.


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