Facebook gives Pioneers a boost

Membership to Pioneers at 130,000

With the crowning of the most recent high-profile pioneer as the Rose of Tralee, the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association has revealed that a social media campaign has increased their membership.

The Pioneers joined Facebook two years ago and also have a presence on Twitter. According to project coordinator, Raymond O’Connor, anecdotal evidence from Facebook “shows so far that 2,500 people under the age of 40 have become pioneers”.

Membership to the Pioneers has increased in recent years from 120,000 to 130,000, and Mr O’Connor said “social media has had a definite role to play in this”.

“The numbers of pioneers are still a sizeable force. There seems to be a multitude of reasons why people are joining and it could be financial reasons, or even as a result of austerity,” he said.


Maria Walsh, who was crowned Rose of Tralee last week, said alcohol was never a part of her life, and despite peer pressure when she was a teenager “I never needed it to benefit anything”.