Movendi International’s Alcohol Issues podcast episode 12 is out now.
This is a special edition for CoA Week 2021.
Host Maik Dünnbier welcomes Dr Sheila Gilheany for an in-depth conversation about the situation of children living in families with alcohol problems, the size of the problem and concrete solutions.
Sheila is the Chief Executive of Alcohol Action Ireland. 
CoA Week 2021 is the international awareness week to bring attention to the reality of children growing up in families with alcohol problems.


Episode 12 of the Alcohol Issues Podcast: Movendi International’s weekly in-depth conversation about latest alcohol issues.

Children from families with alcohol problems
In Ireland, there are 200,000 children living in alcohol impacted homes.

Special edition – CoA Week 2021

With host Maik Dünnbier Sheila discusses Alcohol Action Ireland’s work to raise awareness and improve the conditions of children growing up in families with alcohol problems. They are running the much needed initiative Silent Voices that works to end the silence around the impact of family alcohol problems on children.

Sheila shares deep insights into the extent of the problem in Ireland and we talk about what life is like for vulnerable children. I learn more about the Silent Voices initiative, how it works and what they’ve been doing in the last two years since it was started by three founding voices.

While the situation of children from families with alcohol problems is dire and yet there remains silence around the topic, there is a set of big and small solutions. Sheila talks with me about those and shares her vision of how the rights of vulnerable children can be much better protected through concrete alcohol policy and other interventions.

Resources for the conversation with Sheila

  1. Follow Sheila on Twitter.
  2. Follow Alcohol Action Ireland on Twitter.
  3. Read more about Alcohol Action Ireland’s important work, here.
  4. Read more about the SILENT VOICES campaign, here.
  5. And follow the Silent Voices initiative on Twitter.

Listen to special episode 12

Listen to special episode 12 of the Alcohol Issues Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

You can find the brand new episode on Apple podcasts, here. You can also listen to the latest episode on Spotify. And you can find episode 12 on Google Podcasts, as well as on Podbean, here.

More about the Silent Voices initiatives

Alcohol Action Ireland which is the national independent advocate for reducing alcohol harm, has a specific initiative, Silent Voices, which aims to raise awareness of issues arising for children who have grown up with alcohol problems in their homes. In Ireland it is estimated that there are 200,000 children living in alcohol impacted homes and a further 400,000 adults who have experienced this significant trauma.  

The Founding Voices of the initiative, Carol Fawsitt, Marion Rackard and Barbara Whelan are three individuals who all grew up with this experience and who contribute to the work as part of Silent Voices’ Advisory Group.   

Since the launch of Silent Voices in January 2019, the initiative has:  

  • Established a platform, Shared Voices, where adult children can share their experiences anonymously. Recently two of these stories have been animated which gave an illustration of some of the trauma experienced.   
  • Carried out research with colleagues in University College Cork around the experiences of ACOAs as indicated in the Shared Voices and with other interviewees.    
  • Expanded this research work into a detailed paper around education issues.     
  • Met with senior government ministers and policy makers. Held workshops and meetings with a range of interested organisations and individuals.
    • From this Silent Voices developed their manifesto of strategic actions needed to address the issues in this area.    
  • The Founding Voice, Barbara Whelan and a professional therapist gave a public lecture on Compassion Focussed Therapy as part of their Pathways to Recovery work.
  • Provided input to professional development courses with teacher’s organisations around Adverse Childhood Experiences attended by over 500.   
  • Established linkages with professional therapist organisations and with them held a training event on issues around addiction and impact on families attended by over 800.   
  • Made detailed submissions to government consultations on issues including Youth Justice and the Review of the Child Care Act.
  • Advocated for the introduction of better data sharing between police and schools so as to provide immediate support for children who have experienced domestic violence. 
  • Garnered significant media coverage of this issues with over 100 items in national and regional media as well as our dedicated Silent Voices social media handle.   
  • Silent Voices have launched a podcast featuring the founders of the initiative.

Source Website: Keep Updated with Movendi International