SLIDESHOW: Human chain along the Foyle

Hundreds of people formed a human chain along the bank of the River Foyle at the weekend in protest over the lack of detox facilities in Derry.

Those spearheading the campaign for detox facilities and better services generally for people in crisis gathered on Saturday alongside local families and representatives from local group Sport Against Suicide.

Some of those who joined in Saturday's 'Chain Along The Foyle'. DER1815MC159

Some of those who joined in Saturday's 'Chain Along The Foyle'. DER1815MC159

The ‘Chain Along the Foyle’ event was organised by local woman Monica McClements.

Speaking to the Journal prior to the event, Ms McClements said they wanted to highlight the fact that “52,000 signatures collected calling for a detox centre were completely ignored”.

Local campaigners are also now expected to seek a meeting with the new Health Minister Simon Hamilton over the issue of a detox centre in the coming weeks.

Ms McClements 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 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 has said.