Supporting Local News

Finding fellow travellers to keep you firmly on track

Socialising as a recovering alcoholic can often feel isolating, with alcohol at the centre of most work and family events or celebrations.

With that in mind, Galway woman Deirdre Hurney has designed a new range of jewellery which she hopes will allow those in recovery to identify each other and tackle that loneliness.

Having been in recovery for 20 years, Deirdre knows all to well the challenges faced by those in recovery from alcohol addiction and while she says most people can offer empathy, only those who have been through it themselves can truly understand.

“The difference is like going to a hurling match with someone who knows hurling, and going to a match with someone who doesn’t,” she says of the level of understanding between those in recovery, says Deirdre.

“There’s empathy as well as knowledge. You know exactly what they’re going through and they know that you know what they’re talking about.”

In an effort to make it easier for those in recovery to seek each other out, she has designed ‘Bill and Bob’ rings and discs – named in honour of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous.

“Bill and Bob were the founders of AA. Their story is that they got chatting and the more they talked, the more they realised talking to each other was helping them with their problems.

“I’ve often gone out, after a meal or whatever, and on a lot of occasions, I’ve been looking around and wondering if there is anyone else there who’s in recovery,” says Deirdre.

“I thought it might be nice if you could see someone else in the same boat. If you spot someone wearing the ring or the disc, you could say, ‘oh, are you a friend of Bill and Bob?’ That sounds a lot softer than, ‘are you a recovering alcoholic as well?’,” she continues.

Caption: Deirdre Hurney modelling the Bill and Bob range of jewellery. Photo: Andrew Downes.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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