Community evening to fight drugs and other social problems in the village of Fermanagh
An information evening will be held on Saturday in the village of Co Fermanagh in Donagh with the aim of tackling drugs and other social issues in the community.
Father Gary Donegan, from Newtownbutler, who now works in Ardoyne, North Belfast and has first-hand experience dealing with these issues in his parish, will speak at the event.
The event was organized by the Donagh Community Forum, in partnership with local schools, sports and community organizations.
Father Donegan will make a presentation and discuss with local residents how to tackle drug, alcohol and mental health issues in local communities.
“I was born and raised in Newtownbutler, and I was contacted some time ago because there was a lot of concern about young people and mental health, and the time young people have on their hands.” Father Gary told MyFermanagh.
“There is concern about an ever-growing problem, despite the rural nature of the drug business.
“It’s about how you collectively approach this as a company and that’s basically what they want me to talk about.
“I’ve seen the effects of that lately, and we’ve lost some kids.
“The community thought there was someone at the heart of it all, and they weren’t exposed to it in the same numbers, but they’re not naive that it’s a problem. It is endemic within society.
Pauline O’Reilly of the Donagh Community Forum said it was a good opportunity to learn from the priest’s experience and apply it to the problems in the village.
“It just happened because, like everywhere else in Northern Ireland, there are issues with drugs, mental health, suicide and different aspects of that,” said Pauline.
“As much as there are town halls elsewhere, it is hard to beat your own community and although we are a small community there are also a lot of rural areas nearby.
“So we wanted to get together to see how we can fix the issues before they get out of hand.
“We thought the best thing to do was to start educating ourselves, and with Father Gary’s experience, we thought it was a good opportunity to give a public lecture that everyone can go to.
Encouraging members of the local community to attend the event, Sinn Fein MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew said Co Fermanagh was “inundated” with drugs and local people needed to educate their people. youth.
“Fermanagh is full of illegal substances and those who distribute these substances do not hesitate to target young people to distribute and take these drugs,” Gildernew said.
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“It is not acceptable, nor fair, that our young people are pressured into taking these drugs to ‘fit in’ or ‘be cool’.
“What is clear is that whole swathes of our young people are taking drugs for some reason.
“We have to educate them on the dangers of this, support them, try to encourage them to stop while encouraging those who don’t take them to avoid taking them at any time in the future.”