Campaigners in Derry have vowed to seek a meeting with Jim Wells’ successor in the Health Minister role over the issue of a detox centre.
Meanwhile, local people have been called upon to gather at the Peace Bridge from 3pm on Saturday May 9th, and line up from there along the river and along Craigavon Bridge for a protest event called ‘Chain Along The Foyle’.
Across the route, people with megaphones will relate their own personal stories in a bid to illustrate the need for proper facilities.
Organiser of the event, Monica McClements said they wanted to highlight the fact that “52,000 signatures collected calling for a detox centre were completely ignored”.
She said: “The need for crisis intervention and the need for a proper detox centre is still at the forefront for many, many families. This is not just for drugs and alcohol, because many people have taken to the Foyle because of depression and yet there is still a massive waiting list for services.”
Miss McClements added: “We are crossing our fingers the next Health Minister will meet with us and listen to us as the last two wouldn’t even give us an audience. We had to give the petition to Pat Ramsey to deliver.”
The detox campaign grew after Andrew Quigley’s death, and it is estimated that, since then, over a dozen other people have also died by suicide.
“Nobody wants to talk about it. It is the white elephant in the room,” Miss McClements said.