Positive Intervention – Towards Rehab Street

What’s the big problem with the truth and the reality of whats going on in our society and on our streets. For those who have to face this on a daily basis and deal with it on a daily basis there is an enormous down side and it can have a catastrophic impact on their own health, well being and safety. Go ask the families of those that are on our streets in active addiction how they feel about whats going on. This is about feeling and drugs block feelings. But not everybody out there who is going about their daily business in and around this activity can sedate themselves or protect themselves from what’s going on around them. This is not a vote exercise its a reality exercise. I’ve got my own family members and friends and constituents out there on them streets at this activity. This is not something that I’ve just stumbled across – i’ve been engaged in this all my life and I’m actively engaged in assisting individuals towards rehabilitation and counselling.
The Daily Mirror spoke with me for over one hour, there were many issues discussed as with any journalist they edit it down to suit the piece. What I said in my remarks is no different than what would be said in any rehabilitation institute.
Its reality. Go into any NA room or AA room and try get away with mamby pamby nonsense. The issue here is that we’re getting overwhelmed by those in addiction. Its important to note that a lot of this behaviour is not tolerated in the flats anymore, not tolerated in their primary homes any more – so why should we tolerate it on our streets. It we can’t call a spade a spade and tell the truth as we see it then we’re in deeper trouble than those in the throws of addiction.
As for safe clinics to shoot up, thats a matter for the HSE and I’ve brought it up on many occasions now. Let me say here though, that you’re always going to be dealing with street issues, no matter what you provide because what you really need to provide is residential rehabilitation centres where people can go when they are ready to deal with the issue. You can also create Streetstep where people are positively engaged in the value of 12 Step program and are encouraged to come 12 Step meetings (NA and AA).

This is all about responsibility and the responsibility for addiction is something that the addict has to step up to. There is a good old saying ‘I like you but I don’t like your addictive behaviour’.
On a personal level, I was stuck in that kind of a hell for 20 odd years of my life, I can only speak for my own experience which is no different than any of those people on the streets or in our pubs or in luxury hotel rooms who are in active addiction of alcoholism, gambling or opiates. But I ain’t no sham-carer or reactionary. I deeply care about people, human beings who are caught up in the trauma of critical addiction and I do my best to carry the message of hope and recovery where ever I go and the most effective way to deliver that is direct.
There are 10s of millions of euros every year being spent on this issue. When you boil it down, this particular heroin issue is about the socially less well-off, those that are regarded as disadvantaged. The unfortunates. For over 30 odd years the State and Agents of the State and the so called ‘community activists’ have failed entirely to deal with this issue. The people on our streets, the homeless, the addicted, are not getting any of the so called benefit, they are merely regarded as the raw material for massive revenue streams into all these so called entities and service providers. We’re not talking about hundreds of thousands of people here, we’re talking about a few hundred that have created a culture as seen in O Connell Street over the past twenty odd years. This Culture has now formed into like a social community, widely regarded as a kind of murky underworld when in actual fact its not. Although its breaking the law, what goes on on O Connell Street and on our streets is a social thing, albeit, a dangerous and detrimental one.

I’m totally committed to finding new ways to change this dynamic. Part of that change is bare faced directness, brutal honesty and absolute reality. You can no longer pedal a grandiose statement around this that nobody is doing anything. If that were the case, there’d be nobody in NA or AA and it would be hopeless.
Its down to the individuals and any individual that I’ve ever come across, caught in addiction, has a massive willingness to change but is confronted by a massive desire to use. Somewhere in between this we have to find better methods to intervene in whatever setting we find active addiction and destruction.
For those who commented on my comments in the Daily Mirror, they seem to be under some illusion that I’m coming from some other place and they’re surprised. I don’t get this. I don’t get this at all and I find it peculiar, amateurish and care-taking that they would assume that I’m on their side or support their views whatever they may be.
I’m not in the business of pseudo-outreach. I don’t live my life like that and I don’t interact like that. The situation on our streets can be changed for the better. The diabolical consequences of active addiction in people’s lives wherever they are and whatever their circumstances can also be constitutionally changed. There is a proven method for all of those who wish to avail of it. Everybody comes to it slowly. Everybody is in their own journey.

However, its equally important to give full support for those people who also suffer great trauma as a result of other people’s addictions – like family members, relations, friends, wives, husbands, workers and the general public who are confronted with it on an ever increasing daily basis in our City.
Walk into any Al Anon room or read any Al Anon literature and you’ll get my point. The more equipped, informed and educated we are around the dynamics of active addiction, the more of service we can be to those who are suffering in their active addiction. These were my points that I tried to raise and I will continue to raise and not step back from. This is not an intolerant position but a realistic approach to a merciless patient and thorough destructive disease called addiction.

I would always hope that for those in active addiction that they would be educated into taking responsibility for their addiction. What’s taking place in our streets at the moment is a reckless disregard for everybody’s health and safety. And that, as it was unacceptable in the social housing complexes, unacceptable in any of our homes, should be equally unacceptable on our streets. This is not an authoritarian approach but a humanitarian one. So when you’re down there and you see all this happening, those engaged with the business of addiction can sedate themselves from their own trauma, those who are going about their daily business, their daily work in the shops and offices throughout the city, cannot.

In conclusion, this is but one side of one scenario taking place in Dublin city. There are over 10,000 registered users of heroin in our city. Many of them take responsibility and manage this condition in a responsible way. There are those also that are on the various programs of recovery and there are the ever increasing numbers that are attending counseling and also attending various meetings around the issues of compulsion and addiction. There are also the many that we don’t see. The addiction to the internet, gambling, food etc. Ever increasing numbers of individuals get to break out from their addictions and get to live incredible lives. That’s what we’re all striving for here. The spine of that possibility is the truth and the honest truth no matter how uncomfortable.


Assisted Decision making (Capacity) Bill 2013

For those out there who have family members with an intellectual disability you may be interested in this free seminar on the new Assisted decision making bill 2013.  If this bill comes into effect there will be many changes which will effect the administration of services in this area such as:

· The Ward of Court system will end;

· The Lunacy Regulations Act 1871 will be updated;

Please see below for details of seminars in Dublin, Cork and Galway

If you wish to attend, please send the name and phone number of all those attending.

Email: admin@inclusionireland.ie

Phone: 01-8559891-2013-people-intellectual

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The continuation of unnecessary suffering

Friday sees the opening of the film Philomena.  A  story of a mother and sons search for each other having been separted at the age of three, sold off to an American family by the nuns in Sean Ross Abbey Mother and Baby home, Roscrea.  The banished babies story is about to unfold into Irish society.  A British film based on the book ‘The Lost child of Philomena Lee’.  This is an ongoing issue in our society and societies throughout the world.  It as as horrendous and shocking and criminal as anything described in the Ryan Reports.  For many it is an issue of Adoption Rights and the rights to obtain the records of their birth parents and their medical and personal records.  This is still being denied them by the Irish State and religious congregations.  And yet, the State still persists with a memorial to victims of residential institutional abuse. Truth not trivia.   (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2451155/Philomena-Lee-To-think-nuns-told-son-searching-me.html)


Bringing home the Irish citizens that were sold abroad

Since the foundation of the State, thousands of babies have been removed from their lawful parents and their native land and sold to adoptive parents.  This practice was, by and large, carried out by Religious congregations and in many cases the Irish State turned a blind eye.  The mothers of these children were coerced into signing documents that would remove their rights to any information on their children and their whereabouts.  These babies were trafficked out of Ireland mainly into the United States of America.   All of these babies have been denied access to their personal histories and knowledge of their birth mothers and fathers.  This cruel and inhumane treatment and denial of personal information on one’s identity constitutes a form of ethnic cleansing.

The destruction and elimination of one’s origin, the beginning of the self, was erased and for many people a lifetime sense of absence ensued.  These people are still seeking to realign themselves with their birth mother and family and to be able to obtain access and ownership to all relevant personal and medical information and documentation.

The ‘banished’ children of this nation deserve their rights and their place in the history of this land. They deserve their birth certificates, their records and all the relevant information that is being held by the State, its agents and servants, and the church, its agents and servants  that will give them a roadmap to achieving their full selves and their full identity.  These are our brothers and our sisters, our aunts and our uncles, our nieces and nephews, our sweethearts, our family.  Let this be a true gathering of equals.  Support the cause, acknowledge this unjust denial and bring back the banished babies to their rightful place.  To be silent on this issue is the continuation of a violence.

It is time to end this perpetual exile, facilitated by the Irish State and Irish Church.   The light that reflects from a mother’s eyes to her new born child is the eternal home and that reflection needs to be actualised and manifested now in ‘action’.  Stop the prolonged injustice of those, who as babies, were trafficked with their identities erased.

Lets bring them home.

Video : https://vimeo.com/50934387
More information relating to adoption rights at http://www.adoptionrightsalliance.com/

Surviving survivor groups


Nobody talks openly about it. Now and then you hear something that sounds familiar, that you heard before.   Nobody wants to commit to confirming it but nobody denies it.   What’s most alarming, is that nobody is doing anything about it. But déja vu is unfair on victims.

 The Ryan, Ferns, Murphy, Cloyne and recent Magdalene Commission and Quirke reports into the Magdalene laundries all report that people knew what was happening to the people in the residential institutions.  ‘In Plain Sight’ the report by Amnesty International pointed to general awareness of abuse in our residential institutions in our society and asked why nobody lifted a finger.

 Asking around over the past couple of months, having observed over the past decade or more, and having had first-hand experience of it, it is now time to make public that exploitation, bullying and intimidation  are alive and well in the many so-called victim survivor groups and ad hoc committees that purport to speak on behalf of those abused and mistreated in the Magdalene laundries and the many  residential institutions of this country.

 It is important to note that a substantial number of people who were in these institutions are not associated with any group. Some perhaps are wary of those who are self serving rather than at their service.

Way back when the former Government set up NOVA – the National Organisation for Victims of Abuse at a HSE premises on Ormond Quay I was asked to attend there to lodge a complaint of breach of confidentiality on behalf of an individual.  I was not on the premises five minutes when I was set upon and threatened by an individual who was then a leader of a well-known organisation that promotes itself as speaking and representing victims of the former institutions.  I reported this matter to the supervisor in the building saying that this was wholly unacceptable and that the premises was unsafe.  I immediately left the premises stating that I hoped something would be done about the individual and the manner in which the premises was being run. I believe since then little has happened to ensure that vulnerable individuals are afforded the protection and safety that was not afforded to them in the residential institutions.

Most recently I’ve been contacted by individuals and I believe what they have to say, that they are being bullied, isolated and blacklisted from their own process, from their own inclusion and their own demand for justice over the Magdalene laundries. Many claim that they have not been informed or kept up to date and a lot tell me they did not give their consent to any individual to speak on their behalf. One person went so far as to tell me that money had been demanded from her as some form of payment to an individual who is basically claiming in the media  to be negotiating financial redress for the women. Former residents are afraid to speak out for fear of isolation.

 We are all well aware of the kind of exorbitant legal fees that were extracted by legal firms throughout the Ryan Redress Board process. The vast sums that they got and the minor sums that the victims received. There is a great failure still to protect the vulnerable and their assets and also to protect them from a kind of agency-capture where individuals are setting themselves up as bona fide groups, committees, organisations etc.  This is unscrupulous exploitation of the most exploited. It is now necessary for this Government to put an inspectorate in place to ensure that those groups in receipt of public money or money given to them by a charitable organisation to represent individual former residents of institutions are held accountable –  that these are safe groups to belong to. If the government won’t do it I believe Irish Amnesty International should carry out an analysis of just what is happening.     What kind of professionalism, therapies, recovery processes are available.     Who is being paid and how much.  

Justice for Magdalenes recently announced that they were ending their political campaign.  I would ask them to reconsider this in light of what I am writing about now.  It would appear that they are aware of the issue I am addressing, which is both an advocacy issue and a political issue. Simply put, for many who are in this position they have nowhere to turn.

Some form of complaints procedure needs to be put in place straightaway to allow those who wish to use their voice to report this kind of abuse. For the longer term, perhaps a proper charitable trust should now be put in place to ensure protection and continuing welfare for victims. There is a desperation here to put it all behind us, to sentimentalise the issue, and to have it all played out in the front of Leinster House with blaring cameras, grandiose announcements and strategic tears, an apology there, a bit of remorse there – amounting to little.  Meantime  the state seems to have moved on, to primarily be concerned with the preposterous notion of a national memorial at the Garden of Remembrance to the victims of residential institutional abuse -while ignoring entirely that an abuse may be being perpetrated on the same individuals, to this day. 

 It is all well and good for the Mr Quirke’s report and its insistence that everybody sign up to a healing and reconciliation process.  Upon reading the report its like an obsession within the document and looks as if its a fate accompli.  Whats important to register here is the vast majority of people that this report is written about and seeks to address, cannot read.  The report itself states that.  The report fails to get the consent of every single individual is more of an outreach document than a proclamation of just what happened to peoples rights.  Whats more astonishing is that the perpetrators of the abuse admit no wrong, but wish to be part of a healing and reconciliation process.  There is a huge sense of anterior motive here.  We know that the issues of the Bethany homes are still being denied.  The mother and baby homes are still being denied.  The voice from this whole sector and community seems to be fractured and at the mercy of certain individuals who are more driven by their own personality and self-serving than they are by a commitment to fully honoring those who continue to suffer as a result of the indifference of a cruel State and an even crueler religious congregation. 

The truth is that nobody really wants to deal with the complex issues of this community of individuals and just what happened to them.   Bullying, intimidation and wholesale abuse  dominated the institutions. The residue of that activity is still alive today only because as stated at the outset of this article, there is a level of tolerance and a blind eye being turned rather than a robust challenge to stop this.

Thousands upon thousands of pages have been written on this subject.  Decades of reports.  Newspaper articles and documentaries.  One thing is always present and at the core of this issue – the issue of abuse.  Abuse in all its horrendous forms.  Executed by and large by individuals and organizations that felt they were entitled to behave like this because nobody objected to them.  The latter of the law seemed not to extend itself in this area neither did human rights.  In a most recent article in the Sunday times (July 28th) by Justine Mc Carthy she writes about people falling through the cracks and the absolute power of the Church and the way they could shame people into submission.  The article relates to the refusal by the Irish Government to acknowledge and include the Bethany homes in the now well established culture of abuses perpetrated on individuals who were locked away in institutions within this State.  Included in this is the Mother and Baby homes and the banished children of Ireland.  Again this is all about regimes of terror and abuse en par with a Nazism or the most vehement zealots.  The article also describes that these regimes were on par with the Taliban – well we know that the Taliban have been confronted and we know that extremists are being confronted and we know that the Nazi’s and the despot dictators were confronted – when are we now going to confront the bullies that are still in existence today.  Its grand to use lofty quotes ie ‘our poets are silent’ ‘then they came for me and there was nobody left to speak for me’ we’re good at that here.  We don’t really do uncomfortable.  We don’t really do responsibility.  We’re masters at mock-shock and fake outrage.  We need to take a look in our own mirror and just see how complicit we are in the continuation of abuse and indifference to abuse in Ireland today.

We can’t simply ignore what’s happening.  This time.

Free Men’s Health check – 26th June Wed – Cuffe St Dublin

Men’s Health Day Wednesday 26th June, Greenside House, Cuffe Street Dublin

The 2013 Men’s Health day will include general Health Checks with HSE Nurses,

including Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, BMI and Cholesterol. During the day there

will also be a Healthy Food Stand, Information Points & Presentations

To book an Health Check appointment please phone Brigid 0872 467091


Prostate & Related Issues Wed 26th June at 2.30.

During Men’s Health Day Solomon Popoola, Senior Physiotherapist, will give a talk on Prostate and related health issues.

All Services Free Of Charge

… and other Classes, Info and more.

The Men’s Health Day will also include:

Yoga for Men, Aiki Mindfulness, Information Points,Healthy Food Stand……..and more


Whitefriar Aungier Area Community Council

Contact Information:

Project Manager: Brigid Ruane 0872 467091

Chairperson: Brendan Dowling 0872 940735

Team & Family Support : 01 4759889

E-mail: info@waacc.ie

Premises: The WAACC Base

Greenside House, Cuffe Street, Dublin 2

As part of the 2013 Men’s Heath Day taking place on Wednesday 26th June in

Greenside House there will be two Occupational Therapy Information talks.

Would you like to know more about how to keep your brain active? Are you worried about your memory?

This talk will help you find ways / strategies to keep your brain sharp and active during the activities you do every day.

First Talk: 11.15 – 11.45 Second Talk: 12.00 – 12.30

Occupational Therapy Information Talk

*Numbers are limited to 8 persons per session. Please put your name down for your session of choice*

To book please contact: Brigid Ruane 0872 467091

Or Occupational Therapists Mary Tinnelly, 01 7085700 Or Avril Carey 01 4543344

Cathedrals/Liberties Community Participation in Primary Care

Men’s Health Day Wednesday 26th June, Greenside House, Cuffe Street

The 2013 Men’s Health day will include general Health Checks with HSE Nurses,

including Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, BMI and Cholesterol. During the day there

will also be a Healthy Food Stand, Information Points & Presentations

Tobook a Health Check appointment please phone Brigid 0872 467091

Prostate & Related Issues

Wed 26th June at 2.30.