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Suzanne Costello, CEO Alcohol Action Ireland, Joins Prestigious List Including A Former President as she Delivers the 2014 Barat Lecture on Social Awareness Leading to Action at Mount Anville Secondary School.

Suzanne Costello, CEO, Alcohol Action Ireland today delivered the fourth in the series of Barat* lectures as the Mount Anville Sacred Heart Education Trust continued its programme of support for Sacred Heart education. The enduring values of Sacred Heart education are centred on five Goals including Faith, Character, Intellect, Community and Social Awareness. This year the schools are focused on the Goal of ‘Social Awareness’ and the need to in-still a desire for pupils to respond actively.

Despite high levels of social awareness in Irish society, some could argue that not enough of this awareness has translated into tangible measures that effect long-term and sustainable change. Social awareness is the starting point for change but it is only a starting point. Society needs to move beyond simple awareness of an issue and act, or there will never be change.

Suzanne Costello, herself a past pupil of Mount Anville who is CEO at Alcohol Action Ireland, addressed the secondary school students today on the topic of Social Awareness Leading to Action delivering a powerful speech on the need for Ireland to turn its socially aware population into ambassadors of real and tangible social change. Suzanne joins a prestigious list of Irish women, who previously delivered Barat Lectures at Mount Anville including former President of Ireland Mary McAleese and past pupils, Mary Robinson and Caroline Casey, founder of Kanchi. 

Suzanne, who addressed an audience of 300 including current and past pupils, commented, “Social awareness and social action are often dominated by fundraising activity, which is of course important but it can lead to societal issues where charities effectively compete with one another for donations. If we really want to take action on the issues of unfairness in our society we need to implement policy change, end discrimination, give rights to the marginalised and adequately resource support services. We need to change the status quo and we need to empower the weak. Speaking to young people today reminds me how crucial this is as they have the power and most importantly, the passion, to act and not simply listen. I am delighted to be back here at Mount Anville talking to all the students.

*The Society of the Sacred Heart was founded by Sophie Barat. The first school opened in Paris, France in 1801. Sophie Barat was canonised in 1925 and named Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865)

The Society of the Sacred Heart passed the trusteeship of the schools on the Mount Anville campus to Mount Anville Sacred Heart Education Trust in 2007.


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