I’ll never forget the sight of the people I’ve found dead. It stays with you

“I was born and raised in London, and my parents are from Wexford, so I always identified as being part of the London-Irish community. I realised that alcohol addiction was a significant problem amongst the Irish community in London. Later, I came to understand that it wasn’t just alcohol, but also that prescription drugs and other illicit drugs were used by people in a risky way. From an early age I had wanted to help people experiencing addiction, but I didn’t know how that might manifest itself. For the past 23 years I’ve worked to help vulnerable people with complex and multiple needs; addiction, homelessness, mental illness, psychological difficulties, etc. I’m proud to say that I’ve been the Director of the Ana Liffey Drug Project for over 11 years. The team does great work, but it’s hard work, and one of the hardest parts for us is attending funerals of people we know who have died prematurely due to an overdose. When I worked in homeless hostels I saw people who died by overdose; it’s a distressing experience. I’ll never forget the sight of the people I’ve found dead. It stays with you. I’ve worked with this group of people for half of my life now, and I’ve lived and worked in Dublin for 16 years. I’ve come to know many of the people affected by the public injecting of drugs in Dublin City Centre, I’ve researched the evidence and I’ve worked in the Sydney Supervised Injecting Facility. I can say that the provision of these facilities in Dublin will save lives and improve our city for all of us. It can’t happen soon enough for me.”

 #SaferFromHarm 

-(3/7) This interview is part of a collaborative campaign between Humans of Dublin and the Ana Liffey Drug Project to raise awareness of the importance of medically supervised injecting facilities in Ireland. For more information, please visit Ana Liffey Drug Project’s Website

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