Documentary on One

12 Steps on Abbey Street

Over 2,000 people bustle in and out of the Dublin Central Mission weekly - each with their own story - to lose weight, battle drugs/drink/sex addicition, learn the tango, to find God - and the list goes on and on.

12 Steps on Abbey Street

The Dublin Central Mission, DCM, is a building all Dubliners pass on a regular basis. DCM presents a calm red-bricked facade to the waiting Luas passengers on Middle Abbey Street, but over 2,000 people bustle in and out each week most of them on their own mission - to lose weight, kick heroine, battle the demon drink, learn the tango, find God, lose a gambling habit, meet fellow Methodists worshippers and compatriots from all over the World and from down the street. This documentary eavesdrops on the life of the Mission over a week.

Here is a microcosm of Modern Ireland and the inner city, reflected in 56 groups from Weight-Watchers to Narcotics Anonymous, to the Dublin Soccer Referees Association. Despite the many serious issues tackled at the Mission, the atmosphere is incredibly upbeat and social.

Most of the groups gathering in the DCM are based on the 12-steps to recovery pioneered by AA. However, it is possible to take all sorts of steps at DCM, steps to recovery, first steps at the Parent-Toddler group, or dance steps at the Argentinean Tango class. The large main hall is also the venue for rehearsing theatre groups, while the warren of smaller rooms host recovery meetings.

The building is owned and operated by the Methodist Church, who remain discretely in the background, and view the DCM as "a gift of a building" to the wider community and the city.

Produced by Clare Cronin

Narrated by Sheelagh Dempsey

Production Supervision by Sarah Blake

Sound Supervision by Damien Chennells

First broadcast Saturday 28th May 2011@ 2pm

For more info on the Dublin Central Mission, click here

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.

Documentary maker: Clare Cronin

Clare Cronin

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Documentary maker: Sarah Blake

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