September 23, 2020
Minister Feighan needs to ‘step up’ for addiction recovery support groups – Thomas Gould TD

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Addiction, Recovery and Wellbeing Thomas Gould TD, has today called on Junior Minister Frank Feighan to stand up for addiction recovery support groups in Dublin and acknowledge the important healthcare function they deliver.

Teachta Gould said:

“My colleague Deputy Louise O’Reilly raised this issue with the Minister yesterday, and his response was shocking. Minister Feighan reiterated his previous comments that ‘among individuals with addiction problems there are higher levels of physical comorbidity and alcohol itself may make an individual’s immune system less effective.

“I have already informed him that these comments are offensive to people who are in recovery and Deputy O’Reilly repeated this last night, but Minister Feighan refused to acknowledge the harm being caused by his words.

“These meetings serve a public health function and for many, they are a lifeline. These meetings save people’s lives, and the Minister is ignoring Sinn Féin’s pleas to reopen them safely under Level 3 Restrictions.

“Bookmakers and off licences in Dublin are open – but these meetings aren’t. How can we justify shutting people off from necessary peer-support groups in this already difficult time?

“I appreciate that Minister has said he is working to reopen these meetings under Level 3 restrictions, but this work should have been underway, and indeed completed now. I have written to the Minister today urgently requesting a meeting with him.

“Those in recovery in Dublin cannot just be abandoned like this. We need to see real action now to reopen these meetings.”

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