A Brief History of the ITL
The Irish Temperance League was founded in the 1850’s specifically to counter the abuse of alcohol. Its aim was primarily prevention rather than cure.
At different times in its history, the league has employed advisory staff, established tea shops and coffee bars as counter attractions to public houses, organized music and art festivals, supported youth clubs and football teams as ways of providing healthy entertainment, and it has also engaged in educational activities.
In the century and a half since the organization was founded, the problem of alcohol abuse has remained unabated, while the growing problem of illicit drug use has added another pressure to young people’s lives. Meanwhile, the League’s cafes and unlicensed hotel have closed, and, largely because of the lure of alternative forms of entertainment, its sporting and other events have also been discontinued.
Changing times require new ways of working; however, the directors of the League remain as committed as ever to working to counter the detrimental effects of alcohol abuse on society. Currently, the League’s policy is to use its financial resources to encourage organizations working with vulnerable young people by providing a grant aid.
As in all areas of health and healing, there can be no cure without a proper understanding of the disease. Accordingly, research has always been another of the leagues objectives. In order to ensure that interventions are being targeted at the right people, it is important to know as much as possible about who drinks and why.