The Asthma Society came into formal existence in 1973 following a meeting organised by Órán O Muire, a teacher who had struggled with asthma from an early age, and who was determined that asthma would not stop him leading an active life.
Órán and some supporters organised a public meeting in a Dublin hotel. The only advance publicity was a photocopied letter to a couple of dozen people and a Letter to the Editor in the daily newspapers but by the time the meeting was ready to start, the room was full to the brim.
This group helped raise public and political awareness of asthma and offered the first support service to people in Ireland affected by this chronic condition. They established a medical committee of experts to address the patient information gap and provide the first Asthma Society leaflets and started the Asthma Adviceline in 1982. The Society was concerned with the cost of medication and campaigned for the implementation of the Drug Cost Subsidisation Scheme (DCS) in the 1980's.
During the 40 years since the Asthma Society was founded it has developed into the national charity for asthma in Ireland and there have been significant developments in the fight against asthma. However there is still much to be achieved in a country with the 4th highest prevalence of asthma in the world and where we still see 1 person die every week from this condition.
Our vision is that every person in Ireland will have access to the best possible asthma services, and will have the best support and information available to help empower them in managing their asthma. Our goals are focused around fighting asthma.
We are an independent voice for asthma patients and their families. We listen, support, create awareness, provide information, fund research and we speak up for those with asthma. Through our advocacy efforts we are working to ensure that the National Asthma Programme is implemented to ensure that everyone in Ireland with asthma receives the best care possible, using internationally validated evidence based guidelines. Anything less is unacceptable.