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Urgent meeting with Health Minster sought over future of Newry Addiction Centre

22 August, 2007

Sinn Féin Newry Armagh MP Conor Murphy has sought an urgent meeting with Health Minster Michael McGimpsey over the future of the Cuan Mhuire addiction unit in Newry.

Mr Murphy said:

"Sinn Féin have been working with Cuan Mhuire to develop a new facility for the centre and to ensure that the unit remains open in the meantime. I have sought an urgent meeting with Health Minister Micahel McGimpsey to try and resolve the situation.

"Cuan Mhuire provides an essential lifeline for hundreds of people struggling with addiction in this area. Cuan Mhuire as its names suggests has been a "harbour" for many whose lives have changed for the better after being treated there.

"Obviously I am very concerned at the threat of closure and the failure of the Trust to spell out what will happen to the many existing patients who rely on its services.

"The decision to close Cuan Mhuire Rehabilitation Centre will result in hardship for not only the suffering addict but for the families of those addicts. Tthis decision will cause severe hardship as suffering alcoholics and those addicted to other substances find they have nowhere to go for treatment and recovery.

"Those who informed Cuan Mhuire that it must close have had no consideration for where the suffering addict can be treated. In fact what will happen now is that a person who is in the depths of despair and crying out for help will be sent to their GP. What this does is put further pressure on GPs and many other agencies, such as Health, Housing, and Police.

"The proposals for a new centre in the Newry are at a very early stage. There is no plan whatsoever by Health Authorities to provide what is necessary for the void that is now left." ENDS

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