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Anger at ‘disgraceful’ exclusion of Cuan Mhuire from alcohol and drug support guide

Newly-launched booklets to signpost help for those affected by drugs and alcohol in the Newry and Mourne and Down area have failed to include any reference to Cuan Mhuire.

The support agency is celebrating 50 years in Newry, reaching out and providing help and support to those battling addiction.

But the services which they provide have been excluded from the publication, which has been produced by the local Policing and Community Safety Partnership in Newry.

The move has been branded a “disgrace” by former Newry mayor Pat McGinn, who works with Cuan Mhuire.

Mr McGinn said he is waiting to be furnished with a copy of the new booklet, but he has been told by local politicians that Cuan Mhuire – which was founded by Sr Consilio – is not covered.

Several weeks ago, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council hosted a civic reception to mark the 50 years of care and support provided by Sr Consilio to individuals, families and communities in their battle against addiction.

And just two nights ago, the NMD Council – together with all the agencies associated with the PCSP – launched the leaflet with information about addiction services across the local authority’s area.

Mr McGinn said he was shocked to see that “Cuan Mhuire is not mentioned”.

He said: “I am not sure yet what others if any have been ‘overlooked’.

“There are many good projects and people working with and giving hope to people and families living with addiction based throughout the Newry, Mourne & Down area.

“Hopefully their services have not been ignored.”

Cuan Mhuire is based at 200 Dublin Road in Newry and provides residential places to approximately 100 adults, over the age of 18, both male and female, irrespective of their creed, class and sexual orientation.

In Newry the residential programme focuses on alcohol, gambling, eating disorders, but the facilities in Bruree, Limerick and Athy, Kildare, have specifically resourced drug and substance centres which are open to people from all over Ireland.

The Newry Centre is heavily involved with the communities, schools, NMD Council, and justice system throughout the Newry, Mourne & Down areas.

Mr McGinn said: “Cuan Mhuire in Newry have an active and unique school/youth Programme which it delivers to schools, youth groups and community groups throughout the north of Ireland.

“Cuan Mhuire works in partnership with all appropriate agencies, homeless, justice system and health. It has been involved in a successful pilot project with CRJ Ireland, based in Newry, and the courts.

“It offers a ‘listening service’ to anyone wishing to access it and seek advice. It offers family services to the families and loved ones living with issues related to addiction. It offers aftercare to all residents who have completed the Cuan Mhuire Programme.

“Cuan Mhuire’s facilities, where appropriate, have been availed of by local community groups. There have been successful conferences in it and local councillirs, MLAs, MPs, and Ministers have visited it.

“Cuan Mhuire and its founder Sr Consilio celebrate 50 years of giving love, care and support to the people of Ireland.

Newry, Mourne & Down Council recognised this with a recent civic reception.
“Unfortunately all the above has been ignored by those involved with this publication.

“This is a shame and a disgrace and a reflection I believe on the seriousness behind this publication to addressing the issue of alcohol and drug harm and support provided.

“This is exactly what it is – just another publication lacking sincerity.”

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