Dying for a Drink


About this Item

A dramatic insight into alcoholism in Ireland and the repercussions of alcohol abuse across different demographic backgrounds.

  • Title
    Dying for a Drink
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Alice (Blanaid Irvine)
    Stuart (Liam O'Callaghan)
    Joe (Maeliosa Stafford)
    Dearbhla (Maria McDermottroe)
    Dermod McCarthy (Director)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
  • Clip title
    Dying for a Drink
  • Extended description

    'Dying for a Drink' is a drama-documentary which looks at the lives of three people of different ages and from different demographic backgrounds, who have one thing in common. They all suffer from alcoholism. The programme examines how different people go from alcohol use to alcohol abuse and looks at the serious repercussions for themselves and those around them. The programme examines the secrecy, lies, shame and social stigma attached to alcoholism.

    This film was based on contemporary statistics of the people most likely to be admitted to hospital suffering from alcoholic poisoning.  Ita O'Meara, aged 16, unemployed and lacking family support. Alice Finlay, aged 53, wealthy, married, bored and lonely. Joe Moroney, 28, newly married, employed but reluctant to live up to his responsibilities. Each of these individuals seek solace or escape in alcohol.

    All three characters are affected by the same disease and the programme assesses their relative chances of making a full recovery. The documentary suggests that available treatment and rehabilitation can make a major contribution towards the reintegration of the individual into mainstream society.

  • Information

    The script for 'Dying for a Drink' was written by Christoper Fitzsimon. The programme was narrated by Jonathan Ryan and directed by Dermod McCarthy.

    According to the RTÉ Guide television listing for the programme, "This drama-documentary is aimed at increasing public awareness of the inherent dangers".
    (RTÉ Guide, 2 September 1983, Vol. 7, No.35, p.30)

    The accompanying image is provided courtesy of the IFI Film Archive/Radharc Trust. The image shows the character Alice Finlay, played by Blanaid Irvine, in a scene from the drama buying a bottle of vodka at the supermarket.

    'Radharc', a series specialising in religious programming, was produced for RTÉ by Radharc, an independent production company run by Catholic priests and lay staff. 'Radharc' can be translated to English as 'view' or 'panorama'.

    Co-founders Fr Joe Dunn and Fr Desmond Forristal who had received training in television production in New York in 1959 gathered around them a team of like minded priests with creative talent.

    The 'Radharc' team made their first production in 1960 in Donegal, a short film about customs relating to St Brigid's Day. The first programme in the 'Radharc' series for RTÉ was broadcast on 12 January 1962.

    Between 1961 and 1996 the Radharc team would produce over 400 films in Ireland and 75 countries worldwide. The films dealt with human rights, injustice, faith, religion, persecution, struggles against oppressive regimes, famine, and Christian heritage.

    The popular series ended production in 1996 after the death of Fr Joe Dunn.

    The accompanying image was supplied courtesy of IFI Film Archive/Radharc Trust.

  • Local keywords
    Radharc, RTÉ, Alcohol, Alcoholism, Alcoholic, Religion, Addiction, Rehabilitation
  • Geographical coverage
  • Topic
    Religion and Belief
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
    RTÉ One
  • Production year
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
  • Rights terms and conditions

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  • Item type
  • Item colour
  • Item sound
  • Aspect ratio
  • Language used
    English (eng)
  • Original language
    English (eng)