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Ballyfermot drugs project closing due to Government cuts

19 December, 2011 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

The decision on Friday by Minister Phil Hogan to withdraw funding to the biggest drugs project in Ballyfermot has been slammed by local TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh.

On Friday Department of Environment officials announced to Dublin City Council the withdrawal of nearly €150,000 effectively sealing the fate of one of the biggest and most effective and innovative drugs projects in the country.

Workers in the Ballyfermot Star project, which works with nearly 500 clients, were shocked on Friday to learn of the news. The cuts will mean that the three senior workers in the centre will be laid off, as will a part-time worker. The rent and running costs were also paid for out of the annual mainstreamed grant.

Reacting to the announcement, Ó Snodaigh said:

“This sneaky cut is totally at odds with the National Drugs Strategy and will cause mayhem to the services for recovering drug addicts in the Ballyfermot area. The department waited until Friday when the Dáil was in recess before announcing the cut, and even then hadn't the courtesy to even contact the service directly, they had to learn second hand from Dublin City Council.

“I have already written to the Minister with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, Róisín Shorthall, to intervene immediately and get Minister Phil Hogan to reinstate the funding.

“The urgency of this matter demands that an urgent meeting be convened this week with Minster Hogan to impress on him need to suspend and ultimately reverse the decision to end the funding.” ENDS

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