Galway woman sets up Sober Sallys, an alcohol-free social group

By Fiona Frawley

May 30, 2023 at 4:29pm


"For people who are fully sober, sober curious, or just want to get out of the house".

The lack of alcohol-free activities in Ireland is no secret - our culture is intrinsically linked with the pub and it can be tough to think of date night or hang out options beyond the cinema that are alcohol-free.
Among those who've observed this is Galway woman Faye Ní Dhomhnaill, who's behind the city's new alcohol-free social group.
Sober Sallys is a social collective bringing back the fun of making new friends without the pressure of drinking. Faye started the group after she moved from bar work to a 9-5 and noticed how much of her additional time off revolved around drinking. She believes that Galway's lack of alcohol-free activities, along with the dwindling late-night venues post-pandemic is leading to "a sort of binge drinking issue".
"Sober Sallys is just an outlet for people who don’t want to do everything with a pint in their hand", Faye explained to Lovin. While the activities the group organise are all alcohol-free, Faye has insisted that Sober Sallys is "not some sobriety collective".
"I’ve seen that misunderstanding on social media - we’re not pushing for people to live sober lives, we’re facilitating events for people who want to do something without drinking. Our members are a mix of people who are fully sober, sober curious, and just want to get out of the house", she said.
The first Sober Sallys event was Books and Bakes, a chilled out book swap in Galway's Eyre Square. The turnout and general buzz around the new group indicates there's a definite gap in the market for it, and Faye has already announced the second sober meet up - a stroll and sea swim along the shores of Salthill.
For the moment, the group are still figuring out what kind of events people want to see. There's a Google Doc for people who'd like to suggest an activity, and there'll be workshops and indoor activities happening down the line.
Sober Sallys isn't just great for people looking for alcohol-free things to do - it's also a refreshing addition for those who know all too well the struggle of making friends as an adult. You'll be able to head along to their events knowing that everyone else there is on a similar buzz to you, get to know new people and not have to worry about the ever-rising price of pints.
You can keep an eye on what's happening with Sober Sallys over on their Instagram.
Header image via Instagram/sobersallys_galway