Members of Alcoholics Anonymous from all over the island of Ireland, including members from across the UK and the US and beyond will be travelling to the Salthill Promenade Hotel, Galway to help celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the traditional annual Convention of AA, being held from April 20 to 23 2017.
Increasingly members from other countries have joined the Irish convention celebrations since the first AA Convention was organised in 1957. The said 1957 All-Ireland Convention marked 10 years of AA in Ireland, and AA recently marked its 70th birthday in November last and the fellowship has been celebrating the anniversary with various workshops and functions since then.
A spokesperson for AA said it was important the convention was being held in Galway due to the significant effort from west of Ireland people in setting up the organisation.
"It is significant [to have the anniversary in Galway]. There is a big connection between the west and the AA as a lot of people from the west were instrumental in setting up AA. AA in Ireland owes its beginnings to a man from Roscommon called Conor F Albeit and the first person to benefit and become sober was from Sligo."
The spokesperson said the organisation still played a vital role in as a community resource, both locally and internationally.
"It is still important because people who are reaching out for help can come together, socialise and share their experiences without drink. AA’s recovery programme has stood the test of time. Its anchor principle of anonymity has been key in retaining the confidence of its members in recovery and ensuring peace of mind to those who enter the rooms of its Fellowship.
"One of the principal purposes of holding an All-Ireland AA Convention is to let the world know that AA is alive and flourishing. Our Convention theme “A New Freedom” is reflective of simply that.
The convention opens on Friday evening with a special focus on how the programme has worked in transforming the lives of the three AA speakers who will share their recovery experiences. This meeting is open to the general public and starts at 8.30pm. The convention finishes with an open public meeting at 11.30am on Sunday 23.