Recovery Academy of Ireland launch

Wednesday 23rd November 2016, City Hall

Academy gives voice to people in recovery from addiction

The Recovery Academy of Ireland was launched in City Hall, Dublin on Wednesday, 23 November 2016 to a standing-room only crowd.  Its primary aim is to support people in recovery from addiction and their friends and families, promote the concept of recovery and advocate on behalf of those in recovery.

Link to video of the launch

Mr Brendan Kenny, Assistant Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, who officially launched the Academy said: “We want to give a voice to people in recovery, their families and allies, and offer a vision of hope for the future. We want the academy to be a place where people can achieve social inclusion, learn about recovery from others, participate safely in active citizenship, enjoy amenities and recreation, and achieve employment. Building healthy cities and communities will allow people to flourish and will make a significant contribution to the recovery process.”

Commenting at the launch, Dr Patricia Doyle, Academy Chairperson, said: “We believe that people can move from a dependence on addiction services to a life of fulfilment, wellbeing and full participation in society. We want to help empower people through recovery to achieve that life.”

The Recovery Academy grew out of research carried out in the Soilse drug rehabilitation project by Keane (2011) and Keane, McAleenan and Barry (2014). It draws on the concept of recovery as championed by mental health services as well as the addiction services internationally. The Academy recognises that recovery does not include just a cessation from drugs, alcohol and behavioural addictions such as gambling but is the full reconstruction and fulfilment of people’s lives.

Also launched on the day was a ground-breaking piece of research entitled, “A Community Assets Scoping Exercise in Dublin’s North Inner City”.  The study was undertaken by seven newly trained community researchers, all in recovery, using the Community Participative Action Research method. It was overseen by Dr Patricia Doyle and Dr Jo-Hanna Ivers and explored what constitutes recovery and what has been effective in initiating and sustaining recovery journeys for those in the north inner city.

The study concludes that recovery will not simply mean the absence of addiction but will operate on many levels:

·         At the Personal level, recovery will mean a vastly improved quality of life;

·         At a Relationship level, networks of social relationships will be established that support recovery;

·         At a Community level, attitudes, policies and resources will focus on recovery; and

·         At a Community/Cultural, a strong recovery culture which will replace the culture of addiction.

This is compatible with the overall aim of the Recovery Academy which is to raise awareness of and promote recovery, conduct research, organise and support recovery activities, provide workshops and training, provide support for people in recovery and their families, and advocate on policy. Ultimately, the Academy wants to see a re-orientation of addiction services toward a recovery model as is occurring successfully in other countries.

RTE Radio One Drivetime, Wednesday 23rd November 2016  


The Academy comprises not only people in recovery from addiction and their friends and family members but also experts in addiction and recovery, supporters, advocates and researchers. The group is structured as a co-op and is democratically run by its members on the principle of one person, one vote. A board is elected at the AGM and board members serve a maximum of 3 years. All are welcome to join the Academy. Please contact Joey Murtagh @ 086 076 4405 for membership.