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Plaque unveiled in memory of all Wexford people who have died from drug misuse

72 people who engaged with the Cornmarket service lost their lives to drug misuse

Mayor of Wexford Maura Bell at the unveiling of a plaque in memory of people who have died from drug misuse.

Anne-Marie Connors, Julie Codd, Geraldine Barnes, Bryce Carser, and Stella Walsh at the Cornmarket Project barbecue.

Nicola Whitty and Samantha Freegrove at the unveiling.

Angela Walsh and Antoinette Lynch at the barbecue.

Maria PepperWexford People

Mayor of Wexford Cllr Maura Bell unveiled a plaque in memory of all those who have died as a result of drug misuse in County Wexford.

During the 23 years since the Cornmarket Project offering addiction support was established in 1999, a total 72 people who engaged with the service have lost their lives to drugs.

The ceremony took place during the annual barbecue hosted by the project in the gardens of its premises in the Spawell Centre, Spawell Road.

The yearly event that has been running for the past 12 years and is attended by about 100 invited guests including representatives of statutory and voluntary support agencies that assist the project in delivering services during the year along with public representatives and officials and the families of those who attend the services.

This year the barbecue coincided with International Overdose Awareness Day, an annual global event held on August 31 each year to raise awareness of overdose, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths and acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends.

A plaque was elected at the premises in memory of all those who have died in County Wexford as a consequence of substance misuse.

Mayor Bell spoke about the importance of the service for those caught up in addiction and crime and said ultimately it helps to create safer communities in Wexford.

Tragically, during the 23 years since the project was established in 1999, 72 people who engaged with the Cornmarket service lost their lives to drug misuse.

However, over five thousand people sought the support of the project since it was founded, 1,800 of whom had serious addiction issues, and 189% of them were able to break free from the shackles of addiction and return to a normal life as productive members of their communities.

“It’s not the right response to shun and isolate those who end up dependant on illegal drugs as they are members of our communities, the sons and daughters of people from all walks of life, and they need proper treatment and support if we are to prevent the drugs situation getting worse in Wexford.

Speaking after the event, Cornmarket Project coordinator Paul Delaney said unfortunately he has witnessed an increase year on year in the number of people dying from drug misuse in County Wexford.

He explained that nationally, the Health Research Board is responsible for collating information on drug related deaths and their latest figures, for 2017, show that 786 people were recorded as having died from drug-related issues nationally in that year alone.

He stressed that the deaths that are known to the Cornmarket Project only relate to people who have come into contact with their services and he suspects the true number to be much higher.

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