About Us

We are a Christian organisation founded over 150 years ago, in the fight to combat the abuse of alcohol and drugs.

Get To Know Us


We function exclusively in Ireland.


We advocate an alcohol and drug free lifestyle.


We are part of a ‘team’ in the battle against the ongoing abuse of both alcohol and drugs.

Our History

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, organised 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 organisation 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 and drug abuse on society.

Quotemark“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/or takes drugs and why.”Quotemark

Currently, the League’s policy is to use its financial resources to encourage organisations working with vulnerable 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 League’s 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/or takes drugs and why.

Our Goals

Promote an alcohol/drug-free healthy lifestyle by the advocacy of total abstinence from alcohol and other drugs.

Promote the discussion, consideration and research relating to recreational use and abuse of alcohol and drugs.

Provide other resource and development means to foster the increase of respect for human family values.

Our Directors

A Board of Directors, as detailed below, manage the day-to-day activities of the League.

Heather Boland

Miss Heather Boland has a background in religious education and in special educational needs.  She lives in Newtownabbey and is an active lay preacher in the Methodist Church.

Patricia Boyd

Miss Patricia Boyd has a background in finance (accounting, governance and probity) within the National Health Service, including serving on the former Eastern Health and Social Services Board’s Drugs and Alcohol Awareness Team.

Tom Briggs

Mr Tom Briggs was a Managing Director of a main car/van dealership in Belfast and is currently vice-president of Knock Motor Cycle and Car Club.

Edward Johnson

Mr Edward Johnson has a background in Banking, Finance and Marketing. He is also actively involved with his local church.

Jack Lamb

Rev Jack Lamb is Minister Emeritus of Townsend Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast.

Jason Nicholson

Mr Jason Nicholson has been employed in the charity sector for the last nineteen years.  Married to Claire and father to three children, he has a strong interest in the compassionate and practical outworking of the Christian faith.

Diana Patterson

Dr Diana Patterson OBE (awarded for services to substance misuse) is a retired Addictions Psychiatrist, who was responsible for the addictions service in Belfast covering alcohol and drugs.

Tom Place

Tom Place is a retired Principal and Chief Executive Officer of one of the six Further Education colleges in the Province, having served for a total of 44 years in the Further Education Sector.  He is a lifelong member of The Salvation Army and along with his wife worships regularly at one of the Belfast fellowships.  He has a long-time interest in meeting and serving people at the point of their need.


Gail Pickering 

Dr G Pickering is a Christian GP and forensic medical officer.  Also wife to Iain and mum to William and Anna. She is thankful that the Lord has given her the opportunity to work in a voluntary capacity with ITL, and also with Portadown Temperance Council in a constant battle against the horrors of addiction.  She is also thankful to the Lord for health and strength to remain busy!

Jim Rea

Rev Jim Rea MBE is a former President of the Methodist Church in Ireland and has a Research Masters Degree on The Nature of Alcohol Addiction from the University of Oxford.

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