Detox centre calls grow as search goes on

People join hands during Saturday's rally at the peace bridge organised by the family of Andrew Quigley. (DER0314PG082)
People join hands during Saturday's rally at the peace bridge organised by the family of Andrew Quigley. (DER0314PG082)
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Almost 5000 people have added their names to a growing online campaign calling for a detox centre to be set up in Derry.

The Facebook campaign comes on the back of the ongoing search for missing Galliagh teenager Andrew Quigley, who is believed to have taken his own life earlier this month.

Andrew’s family and friends are continuing their search of the river Foyle following the 19 year old’s disappearance almost two weeks ago.

The Quigley family have spoken openly about Andrew’s struggle with alcohol and drugs and of their struggle to get help for him.

Last weekend hundreds of local people attended a rally on the banks of the river as part of the growing campaign.

The Facebook page ‘Set Up a Detox Unit in Derry’ has also attracted a large number of stories from people sharing their experiences of addiction, suicide and the struggle to find help.

Dee Quigley, uncle of Andrew, has revealed a public meeting on this issue has now been planned for the City Hotel, next Wednesday at 7pm and he is calling for large numbers of local people to come out and show their support for the cause.

“What we want to do is to stop families in Derry losing any more people to addiction.

“I am so proud of the way the people of Derry have come together to show not only how angry they were at the funding decisions which went against Foyle Search and Rescue and Hurt, but also calling for the detox centre.

“We have to see the bigger picture - which is that this city has long needed a detox centre. Andrew’s story has just been the straw that broke the camel’s back and now people are standing up and demanding that their stories be heard.

“It would be fitting if something positive came out of all of this so that no other family has to go through what we are going through at the moment.”

Since the Quigley family went public with their story, Dee has said he has been inundated with calls from people who find themselves in a similar position and who are worrying about their own loved ones.

“This isn’t something we can ignore any longer. We want everyone out. It won’t make a difference to us now - but it could help others.”

Dee and the other organisers of the meeting next Wednesday are calling for all public representatives and policy makers to attend the meeting and listen to “what the people of this city really need”.