The campaign for a Detox Centre for the North West has been re-launched, with one of those leading the charge warning that direct action cannot be ruled out if all else fails.
Over a dozen people who attended the launch at the Derry City Social Club last Thursday have now volunteered to serve on a steering group to secure positive responses from health and public representatives.
The event was chaired by local author Fionnbarra O’Dochartaigh, a co-founder of the civil rights association in 1967. He said: “We must never be overcome by despair. We all can make a difference. Already upwards of 70,000 people have endorsed our efforts by signing paper and on-line petitions, which is quite an impressive civic mandate no politician can continue to ignore.”
He added: “Our aim is quite simple but will be difficult to secure. We demand, as a matter of public urgency, steps to be taken to save lives and improve the health and well-being of drug, alcohol and substance abuse addicts. Let the authorities be pre-warned, if all other campaigning tactics do not secure an early pro-active response, then, as in the civil rights era, we will not rule out militant direct action”.
Other speakers included the film-maker Gavin Patton. who has placed his documentary, ‘Derry Detoxed’ on Youtube, and Dr. Anne McCloskey of the Shantallow Health Centre, who last week also announced her intention to seek election as a MLA.