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'Zombie' cards sent in attempt to close addict clinic

a campaign aimed at getting the Dun Laoghaire methadone clinic in Patrick Street closed down has stepped up a gear, with zombie-like images being used on postcards.

The Dun Laoghaire Rate Payers' Association (DLRPA) issued the controversial cards which read "The Walking Dead, Courtesy of The HSE" in recent weeks.

The cards (right) include a zombie-like image and highlight a number of concerns about methadone treatment programmes.

The DLRPA said the same people have been attending the Dun Laoghaire clinic each week for "the last 15 years".

A suggestion has been made that small numbers could be treated in pharmacies instead of all in one clinic.

A small batch of postcards was given to businesses in the town to post to Health Minister Leo Varadkar.

SHOUTING

Association chairman Peter Kerrigan said it was not a mass-distribution.

"The reaction we have got has been very good in that it highlighted the problem and it achieved what it set out to do," he said.

A meeting in July about the clinic heard claims from traders that customers were being "driven away" by the methadone clinic in the town centre, with "shouting and roaring" up and down the streets.

There are 54 clinics within the four Dublin local authority areas, of which six are in the city centre.

Latest figures show that the six city centre clinics cater for 1,000 people, or 24pc of the overall Dublin figure, and just over 10pc of the national figure.

The HSE said it continues to respond to emerging drug treatment needs in Dublin and the city centre area, and is "fully committed to improved health outcomes for persons with addiction issues".

A major policing operation named "Tempest" that was undertaken last August targeted drug dealing in Dublin's north inner city area and followed a six month undercover operation.

hnews@herald.ie


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