A NEWTOWNBUTLER-born priest has described the reported increase of drug use across his native community as “frightening” during an event which was held in Donagh in order to address concerns in relation to drugs and other social issues.
“What I’ve seen on the streets of Belfast is horrific but to think that it could be happening here is so frightening,” explained Fr Gary Donegan.
While concerns about the availability of drugs within local communities pre-date the Covid-19 pandemic, there is now a drive to educate parents and the wider community on how to protect young people who have a tendency to self-medicate with dangerous substances as a form of escape.
Speaking at the event which was organised by the recently formed ‘Donagh Community Forum’, Fr Gary told those is attendance, “Drugs are an endemic in today’s society, they are everywhere. People may say it’s to do with social deprivation, but Croke Park, The Westbury, all of the top hotels and the Aviva, all of their cisterns have tested positive for cocaine.
“That’s the reality of the Ireland that we live in today. We need to come together as a community, we cannot allow things like this to become the norm. We have to intervene and we need to work together on this.”
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