Cuan Mhuire is a charitable drug, alcohol and gambling rehabilitation organisation in Ireland. Cuan Mhuire offers a comprehensive, structured, abstinence based, residential programme Alchol Anonymous to persons suffering from alcohol, Acohol Anonymous other chemical dependencies and gambling. Cuan Mhuire was founded by Sr. Consilio Fitzgerald a member of the Sisters of Mercy in 1965. Cuan Mhuire Alochol Anonymous has its own programme, developed by Sr. Consilio and her staff over a Alchool Anonymous period of 40 years. Cuan Mhuire has rehabilitation centres and Alcool Anonymous other facilities all over Ireland both north and south dealing with approximately 2500 people each Alohol Anonymous year.
- 1 History Alcohl Anonymous and development
- 1.1 The Alcoho Anonymous Dairy
- 1.2 The First Purpose Build Rehabilation Center
- 1.3 Enlargement
- 2 Mission Aclohol Anonymous statement
- 3 Cuan Alcohool Anonymous Mhuire Programme
- 4 Philosophy
- 4.1 Eternal Alcphol Anonymous Value
- 4.2 Unconditional Love
- 4.3 Total Abstinence
- 4.4 Self Alcohil Anonymous Change
- 5 Guiding Principles
- 6 Recognition of Alcoholl Anonymous Work
- 7 Locations
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 9.1 Cuan Alcoohl Anonymous Mhuire Web Site
- 10 References
History and development
Cuan Mhuire was founded by Sr. Consilio in 1965. Sr. Consilio had qualified as a nurse and a midwife and had been stationed in St. Vincent’s Hospital in Athy.
Sr. Consilio first real interaction with alcoholics was when she worked in St. Vincent’s. She realised that her true calling was to help the people who were marginalized and considered 'untouchables' and to show them that a rebirth was possible.
In 1965 Sr. Consilio convinced the nuns in Athy to convert the dairy of the convent into a 'drop in' centre, where she could greet her visitors and listen to their troubles. This dairy became the focal point of Sr. Consilio’s work with the homeless and the addicts. By this time, a few tradesmen had begun to recover from their addiction and they set to work on the dairy. Thus a functioning unit began. As the building was being reconstructed, so too were peoples lives being reconstructed.
In the early days, the dairy became known as the ‘dug out’, so Sr. Consilio felt she must give it a proper name. Her friend, Dr. Des O’Neill who was a constant help in the development of Cuan Mhuire, suggested the name “An Cuan” meaning “The Harbour”. Sr Consilio felt that it would have to include Our Lady’s name and said none of this would have been possible without her– hence the name “Cuan Mhuire”.
The First Purpose Build Rehabilation Center
In November 1972, a farm of land came up for sale just outside Athy. The story of how Sr. Consilio acquired this land became a popular story in the Cuan Mhuire folklore. It is – many would argue – a story of one woman fighting almost insurmountable obstacles, with the odds stacked against her.
Sr. Consilio, encouraged by the support of her Mother superior, paid a visit to the local bank manager. He asked Sr. Consilio how she would pay for it. She told him that “Our Lady would provide”. Sr. Consilio attended the auction in full nun regalia and she came away from the auction with a forty two acre field and no way to pay for it.
Sr. Consilio provides her own amusing account of her next meeting with the bank manager.
The day after the auction, Mother Sacred Heart sent me on a message to the bank, The manager and his assistant were standing inside the counter. He somewhat reluctantly reached his hand over the counter to congratulate me on buying the farm. In the next breadth he said ‘I want to see you inside’, pointing towards his office. I said in response ‘I want to see you too, sir’. When we were seated he looked across the desk at me and said ‘I stayed up all night thinking about you, and about what would happen when a big check came in and there was nothing to meet it’. ‘Well’, I said ‘ I thought about you too last night but I didn't stay awake all night thinking about you – what I was thinking was that you don't trust me, and that for your sake and my sake, I will have to find a bank manager, wherever he might be, who will trust me. I have no doubt that there will be many times when Cuan Mhuire will be in the red, but I would not want to get a bank manager into trouble, so I'll just have to find someone who will not worry whether we are ‘up’ or ‘down’. The bank manager reached out his hand across the desk and said: ‘I'm sorry for not trusting you, but I will from now on’, and that is exactly what he did. He trusted, supported and helped me from that day forward.
The bank manager later discovered that Sr. Consilio had paid off the purchase price in full and he had not to worry about honouring the big check. When he asked Sr. Consilio how she managed to pay for the land, she simply replied: “Our Lady helped me” 
Since then Cuan Mhuire charity has increased in size dramatically going from one site in Athy to having locations all over the country. It currently in 2006 has 5 full residential centres, 3 residential transition houses and 2 training centres.
The mission statement of Cuan Mhuire is: To provide a context in which persons who feel rejected or dejected because of their addictions, become aware of, and learn to deal with, the underlying problems related to those addictions, and discover their uniqueness, giftedness and the real purpose in life.
Cuan Mhuire is inspired by the belief "that every human being is made to the image and likeness of God, this means, that deep within each one, there are unlimited capacities for goodness, gentleness, kindness, generosity, endurance, happiness, joy, peace, love and truth".
Cuan Mhuire Programme
The Cuan Mhuire style of treatment is focused on tackling the two problems
- The underlying issues that have created the addiction to an addictive substance.
- The addiction to an addictive substance.
The addiction programme aims to identify the underlying causes of the addiction and to deal with the pain underneath these addictions.
Cuan Mhuire uses the following methods to achieve it's goals.
- Group Therapy
- One-to-One Counselling
- Attendance at AA (Alcohol Anonymous), NA(Narcotics Anonymous), GA(Gamblers Anonymous) Meetings
- Therapeutic Duties
- Video lectures and discussions on all aspects of addiction and recovery
- Family Day for relatives of persons in treatment
- Aftercare for relatives of persons in recovery
Cuan Mhuire beleives that each human being is of eternal value, is made to the image and likeness of God and that there are no hopeless cases.
For addicts Cuan Mhuire aims to be A light in the darkness, a beacon of hope
Cuan Mhuire's underlying objective for its treatment is: Total Abstinence
Cuan Mhuire describes itself as A Place Where I change Myself, Not Anybody else.
Cuan Mhuire works to a number of guiding principles.
- Emphasise the positive. Believing there is no value in the negative, guilt, remorse, poor self-image, and low self-esteem. These are things to be reduced or removed rather than boosted.
- Responsibility is encouraged. Cuan Mhuire want to walk with people rather than do their walking for them.
- Understanding where people are at, and where they are coming from. Many of Cuan Mhuire's staff who work with those currently suffering from addiction, have previously suffered similar experiences themselves.
- Cuan Mhuire is a community to help, support its members. Cuan Mhuire considers that their community doesn't just include those who are in Cuan Mhuire but also draws in their families and carers.
- Perseverance simply a refusal to give up on anyone.
- Cuan Mhuire believes in the higher power offered to them by God and that Spirituality runs across and through Cuan Mhuire. However Cuan Mhuire does not evangelise but welcomes and respects people of all denominations and of none.
Recognition of Work
Sr. Concilio has been publicly honoured on many occasions. Sr. Consilio has accepted every award or nomination on behalf of the entire Chuan Mhuire family. The awards include:
- 1975 Nurse of the Year In recognition of her work and professionalism
- 1977 Received a civic reception by the Lord Mayor of Galway and nominated as one of the "People of the Year"
- 1993 Nominated for Dublin Lord Mayor Awards and was placed on Dublin's civic honours list. Dublin Lord Mayor at that time was Alderman Gay Mitchell TD
- 1996 Kerry Person of the Year At this presentation, Marion Walsh, Cathaoirleach of the Kerry Association said
Sr. Consilio has vast experience in meeting suffering in others, but the serenity she radiates is proof that happiness can be found in the midst of suffering. She is a very worthy recipient of the 1996 Kerry Person of the Year Award, and Kerry people from all over the world should be proud of her humanity and achievements
- 1997 Athy Person of the Year
- 1999 Conferred with Honorary Life Membership of the Royal Dublin Society
- 1999 Winner of the Irish Sun “Sunshine Person of the Year”
- 1999 Hall of Fame Award sponsored by Allied Irish Bank and the Kerryman
This award honoured not just Sr. Consilio but the members of the Fitzgerald family
who have worked for Cuan Mhuire. It honoured in particular, her brother Johnny Fitzgerald,
who has done so much building work in all of the Cuan Mhuire centres and her sister,
Sr Agnes who works in Cuan Mhuire Buree.
- 2000 Sr. Consillio was conferred with an Honorary Fellowship of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at the Royal College of Surgeons
An honour which she shares with, among others, Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
- 2002 Conferred with Honorary Fellowship of the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT).
- 2002 Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLG) conferred by The Higher Education and Training Awards Council
- 2003 Voted, by Radio Kerry listeners, "The Greatest Kerry Person of All Time"
- 2003 Awarded Duhallow Person of the Year.
Cuan Mhuire has facilities in both north and south of Ireland.
Full residential centres
- Cuan Mhuire, Athy, Co. Kildare
- Cuan Mhuire, Coolarne, Athenry, Co. Galway
- Cuan Mhuire, Bruree, Co. Limerick
- Cuan Mhuire, Newry, Co. Down
- Cuan Mhuire, Farnanes, Co. Cork
Residential transition houses
- Teach Mhuire, Gardiner Street, Dublin
- Teach Mhuire, St. Helen’s Street, Galway
- Teach Mhuire, Raxboro Road, Limerick
- Cuan Mhuire, Ballycarron, Golden, Co Tipperary provides in-service training for Cuan Mhuire and other staff.
- An accredited two year Diploma in Counselling is offered from the Galilee House of Studies in Athy.
- Addiction Medicine
- Drug addiction
- Moderation Management
- Sr. Consilio
- European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
- Gambling addiction
-  - Irish President Mary McAleese in Cuan Mhuire
-  - Irish President Mary McAleese's speech in Cuan Mhuire
-  - The award of Honorary Fellowship of Waterford Institute of Technology
-  - [Article in The Word on Sr Consilio and Cuan Mhuire]
-  - Sister Consilio of the Sisters of Mercy, receiving the Teaching Award for her work in the rehabilitation of those suffering from alcoholism and from heroin addiction from University College Dublin
-  - Kerry Person of the Year
-  - Mentions in Dáil Éireann
Cuan Mhuire Web Site
- ^ The , 'Cuan Mhuire A Haven of Hope the Life and Work of Sister Consilio by Nora McNamara : HSI Publications '
- ^ The , 'In God's Hands Story of Sr Mary Consilio and Cuan Mhuire by Costello, A Gemma : Veritas Publications '
Categories: Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers | Charities | Voluntary organisations