Coaine users turned away
COCAINE users seeking help from a Northside drug rehabilitation programme have been turned away because the group offering the treatment doesn’t have the facilities to cope.
This year, the Kilbarrack/Foxfield community is stepping up its campaign to have a youth and community resource centre built in the area to house all its various local projects and groups, including drug treatment programmes.
The Kilbarrack/Foxfield Regeneration Campaign Committee has been set up in response to the fact that over 1,500 signatures were collected in a petition calling for the vital new resource centre.
The group that currently operates a drug treatment programme in Kilbarrack said it is being forced to work out of tiny rooms at the back of an old community hall on Greendale Road.
The Kilbarrack Coast Community Programme (KCCP) – set up over 10 years ago to help deal with the area’s drug problems – said it has had to restrict the number of drug users it can help because of the inadequate facilities.
Declan Byrne, PRO for the Kilbarrack/Foxfield Regeneration Campaign, told Northside People that KCCP has had to turn away up to six cocaine users who were seeking help in recent months, and that it has many more heroin users on a waiting list.
Mr Byrne said Kilbarrack also has four youth clubs and organisations operating from tiny rooms in the area, and that a major new community and resource centre would relieve the pressure on all of them.
He said there was huge cross-community support for this new resource centre and has called on the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs to finally listen to their pleas.
Mr Byrne said KCCP currently helps 19 recovering heroin addicts through its morning rehabilitation programme, but that with the proper facilities they could help over twice that amount.
“Because of the tiny rooms we are working out of, we have had to put a cap on the number of drug users we can help,” Mr Byrne stated.
“We have 19 recovering heroin addicts who take part in the drug treatment and rehabilitation programme in the mornings, but in the afternoon, the same rooms have to cater for up to 100 children.”
“People with cocaine problems have come to us seeking help but we just don’t have the facilities to accommodate them, as they don’t want to link in with the morning programme and we cannot help them in the afternoons as the rooms are used by the children’s groups.”
Mr Byrne said he sees no reason why Kilbarrack could not have a community centre similar to other areas on the Northside.
“We get jealous when we see the facilities that they have in other areas of North Dublin,” he stated.
“At this stage our community feels excluded and shunned.
“Kilbarrack is like the land that God forgot.”
He said his group has held periodic meetings with the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, and was hopeful that the new centre could be constructed on the site of the old community hall in Kilbarrack.
“Every meeting always seemed to end positively and we thought it would only be a matter of time before funding would come through from the Department for the new community and resource centre,” Mr Byrne added.
“But still nothing has happened, as the Department said they wanted to see evidence that there was strong community support for the new centre, but I think the petition we got together shows that the support is definitely there.”
“The kids in Kilbarrack are crying out for a decent community centre, which could also house the drug programme and would be to the forefront in tackling underage alcohol and drug misuse.”
A spokeswoman for the Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs told Northside People that department officials met with the group in Kilbarrack in May 2007 and outlined the process for applying to the Premises Initiative and the Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund.
She said Minister of State with Responsibility for Drugs, Pat Carey, was aware there were some issues surrounding the lease of the premises at the old community hall.
However, the spokeswoman added that even if the lease situation was resolved, there were transparent application processes and procedures that must be adhered to in every case.
“Minister Carey is more than anxious to help any group that has sought funding through the correct channels,” the spokeswoman said.
“However, there is no application with the department under either the Premises Initiative or the Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund for Kilbarrack
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