An inspirational nun who established one of the most important addiction services in the country thirty years ago has called on the government to address alcohol addiction and abusive drinking as two different problems.
Sister Eileen Fahey, who set up Aiseiri in Cahir thirty years ago, said the two problems were very different and that should be reflected in government policy.
She also called on government to provide more detoxification centres all over the country.
“People become addicted to alcohol, to social and prescribed drugs.they need to be dried out before they reach a place like ours, but unfortunately there are not enough detoxification centres and that has to be addressed by government” insister Sister Eileen.
The Bansha native was speaking after it was announced on Monday that the Aiseiri concept she established now consists of four merged centres in the south east.
Sister Eileen, who retired as a director and CEO of Aiseiri six years ago, this week announced she was retiring from her role in lecturing and family counselling, bringing an end to her thirty years service.
Welcoming the merged service, she said the enormous challenges faced in the early days of Aiseiri still existed in society today. The merger would allow a greater geographical spread and reach out to more people. Reflecting on the thirty year journey, Sister Eileen said what hurt her most and what inspired her to continue working in the area was the devastation brought on families by addiction and the neglect of the next generation that involved.
“The greatest joy I experienced over the years was seeing people recover, addicts and family members. Families being rescued from that addiction spiral is a huge step and even if you help one member of a family then that family is going to be a better place,”
Sister Eileen said Aiseiri provided a place of spirituality and friendship that allowed people who reached out to find the light to bring hope and dignity back into their lives.