Over the last number of years, Divis street and the surrounding areas have become a hive for activities involving the abuse of the lethal drug ‘heroin’. Although we have established that there are users of this drug living within working class areas throughout the country, including the Lower Falls, we must take issue with the impact that the location of the current Welcome Centre on Townsend Street has had in relation to it.
This is a time and a subject that requires frank statements of fact. The existence of the Welcome Centre, due to it’s purpose of caring for society’s most vulnerable, on the edge of the Divis and Finglas estates, has resulted in a massive influx of heroin users and heroin dealers creating a hotspot for drug related activity.
The alleyways are now hideouts for injecting the drug and paraphernalia littered on the ground has become the norm. Addicts are breaking and entering into the homes of working class families, often unaware due to their mental state as a consequence of the drugs they’ve consumed. Young families now take the longer routes when visiting the city centre for fear of encountering a stranger ‘shooting up’ in the alleyways and residents are demanding that this issue is tackled.
We accept that help is needed for those struggling against addiction and we will support any group working to this end, however this is not acceptable if it is to be at the expense of the welfare of working class families that have settled for generations in the areas wherein we were born and reared.
Recently, the Falls’ Residents Association illustrated this topic via the media and we second their concerns. The Welcome Organisation must now immediately act to take responsibility for the activities occurring in the vicinity of their premises.
The Irish Republican Socialist Party will be visiting neighbouring homes to engage residents on this issue further and we will not take ‘No’ for an answer when pursuing their wishes. Let us be clear on this; If the Welcome Organisation fails to engage constructively with our representatives to resolve this matter, then it will become the job of our activists to initiate protest action.