The Labour Exchange on Barrack Street will not be turned into a methadone clinic – that’s the message that came out of a meeting of concerned local residents this week.
A group of more than 20 residents from the Barrack Street, Quay Street, Hyde Park area met at the Spirit Store last Thursday to discuss the the potential for a methadone clinic, and other issues that area effecting the area.
The meeting was chaired by Cllr Jennifer Green and there were local stakeholders present, including local residents, business owners and a representative from the Simon Community.
Cllr Martin Bellew told the concerned resident that the HSE had categorically told him that there were no plans for a methadone clinic, either now or in the future, for the area.
The rumour among local people was that the Simon Community, who were represented on the night by Niall Mulligan, was planning on setting up a clinic or a new drop-in centre at the site.
Niall Mulligan of the Simon Community denied this.
As it turns out the building is being renovated by the Office of Public works in a bid to clean up the area.
It was suggested that pressure was applied for action to be taken after Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick requested something be done with the two storey, ironed railing fronted building.
Local residents were extremely concerned that a methadone clinic was going to be set up, which they felt would have brought more drug a ddicts to an area already struggling with drug use and drug dealing.
While the news that there would be no methadone clinic was clearly a relief for residents , the meeting also highlighted their concerns about the rise in anti-social behaviour in recent times.
Speaking to the Dundalk Democrat Cllr Eamon O’Boyle said “There are serious concerns for the health and well being of people, and indeed children, who are living in the area.
“A number of residents have expressed their concerns to me personally.”