The Clondalkin Drugs and Alcohol Task Force, along with two local projects, teamed up with gardaí and Irish Rail to set up the Safe Campaign.
The campaign followed the emergence of a significant increase in anti-social behaviour, public drug use, and drug litter at Clondalkin train station. Gardaí and Irish Rail spotted the trend and noticed that there was a rise in people not from the Clondalkin area using the train and getting off at the Fonthill Road station.
Gardaí learned that people were travelling from the Midlands and Kildare to source drugs, particularly crack cocaine.
Tara Deacy, prevention officer at the taskforce, said that through the work of Inspector Liam Casey, Clondalkin Tus Nua, and Clondalkin Addiction Support Programme became involved and set up an outreach service at the station.
There was an increasing number of people walking around the area and no one knew them, and we would generally know people, and they were getting into difficulty,” said Ms Deacy.
“They were coming here to buy drugs and had no history of engagement with drug services. The bottom line with the campaign is about saving people’s lives.”
Paul Keegan of Clondalkin Tus Nua said they set up an initiative last January and have since had 208 engagements. Of these, 191 availed of their needle and syringe backpack and crack pipe distribution programme and 89 new service users were identified.
“The service users who engage with us are spread out all across the country,” Mr Keegan told the launch of the Safe Campaign yesterday. “We have had people coming from Cork, Limerick, Galway, Laois, Kildare, and Northern Ireland.”
He said most 60% to 65% of the clients are female.
Sharon Harty of the Clondalkin Addiction Support Programme said they engage with the people at the station and provide information on their services. She said some are from the north inner city and travel out because of the high Garda presence due to the Kinahan-Hutch feud.
Ms Deacy praised the “progressive” approach of Insp Casey and chief superintendent Finbarr Murphy.
The South West Regional DATF, Ana Liffey Drug Project, South Dublin County Council, and HSE Addiction Outreach Team have also joined the campaign, formally launched yesterday by local Fine Gael TD Frances Fitzgerald.
Source: Cormac O'Keeffe, The Irish Examiner, 2nd October 2018