Threatening letters warned people not to attend public meeting, organiser reveals

Up to 200 people gather at Carrick-on-Suir church to set up community campaign to fight town’s drugs problem

Aileen Hahesy

Reporter:

Aileen Hahesy

Up to 200 people gather at Carrick-on-Suir church to set up community campaign to fight town’s drugs problem

St Nicholas Church in Carrick-on-Suir where the public meeting about the town's drugs problem took place last night (Thursday).

 Up to 200 people concerned about the drug dealing and addiction problem in Carrick-on-Suir attended a public meeting in the town's St Nicholas Church last night (Thursday). 

The meeting, organised by community activist Eddie Reade, was attended by many families affected by the scourge of drug addiction in Carrick-on-Suir and some spoke of the devastating impact drug abuse has had on their loved ones. 

Fr Paul Waldron, PP of St Nicholas & Faugheen Parish, Carrick-on-Suir's two councillors Kieran Bourke (FF) and David Dunne along with Independent TD Mattie McGrath and former principal of Carrick-on-Suir's Comeragh College Community School Pat Callanan also addressed the hour and a half long meeting. 

Speakers called for more Garda resources to tackle the town's drugs dealing problem, an education campaign in the town's schools on the dangers of drug abuse and an information campaign on the supports available for people suffering from drug addiction and their families. 

At the start of the meeting Eddie Reade revealed that threatening letters had been received by some people in the town warning them not to attend the public meeting. He stressed that he was the sole organiser of the meeting.  

He decided to organise the meeting after the hugely positive reaction he received from a post he put up on Facebook on October 1 about the town's drugs problem. People had spoken to hims about the drug dealing they saw every part of the day. 

Mr Reade said they must unite with the families impacted by drugs and be active in finding solutions to ensure no more families suffer in this town and to make the town a better and safer place for children to grow up in. 

Fr Waldron said he had seen how everyone in this town had been touched by this problem and he urged those gathered at the meeting to try and do something positive to tackle it. 

Dinny Power, a close relative of a young local man who died in tragic circumstances recently, said the gardai based in Carrick-on-Suir need more resources. They were currently understaffed as a number of officers on sick leave a long time, he told the meeting. 

He said parents needed to talk to their children and highlight the nastiness and dangers of drugs and the local schools need to get involved more in educating their students. He suggested they get reformed addicts to give talks to students about how bad drugs were.                                                                                                                                                          Mr Reade told The Nationalist today (Friday) that he will draw up within the next week an action plan based on the proposals made at last night's public meeting and plans to organise a second public meeting within the next three weeks. 

Read full coverage of the public meeting in the next printed edition of The Nationalist in shops next Wednesday morning, October 17.