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Posted by: | Posted on: June 4, 2021

Saoirse brings freedom from addiction in Limerick

first_imgPredictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival TAGSAlan GalvinAlan JacquesfeaturedLiam RyanlimerickSaoirse Addiction Treatment Center RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Twitter Print NewsCommunitySaoirse brings freedom from addiction in LimerickBy Alan Jacques – July 4, 2014 1935 Alan Galvin (left) and Liam Ryan (right) at Saoirse Addiction Treatment CentreThe Limerick Saoirse Addiction Treatment Centre is a specialist provider of addiction counselling and programmes for alcohol, drugs and gambling. Alan Jacques visited the Davis Street centre to witness the life-changing difference the charity’s work makes to its clients.BEFORE they even had a premises to operate from, two Limerick men on a mission drove up the country and filled a van with over 60 chairs they had bought at an auction.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Like a scene from that corny Kevin Costner movie ‘Field of Dreams’, Alan Galvin and Liam Ryan, who had worked together at the Aljeff Treatment Centre, appeared to have taken the film’s core mantra of “if you build it, they will come” to heart.From their extensive experience working with Aljeff, Alan and Liam had a strong insight into the great need for an addiction treatment centre in Limerick. They also had the vision and “professional passion” to make it happen, and now, lots of chairs too.With initial funding of €30,000 from the HSE Mid-West’s Regional Drug Co-ordination Unit, their perseverance paid off, and those chairs were put to good use when Saoirse Addiction Treatment Centre was finally established on October 1, 2012.When it finally opened its doors at 18B Davis Street, 48 people attended in the first month seeking help for their addictions. Validation if ever it was needed that Saoirse, a free service, is an answer to the prayers of many Limerick people.Aristotle said, “he who overcomes his fears will be truly free” and after having the privilege of meeting some of Saoirse’s clients and hearing their harrowing stories, there’s no doubting that they have been emancipated from the shackles of addiction and gifted with a new beginning. The joy they exuded was infectious, and their openness to retell their own tales as a mark of simple gratitude to Saoirse for walking with them through dark places out into the light, simply overpowering.I was deeply impressed by the bravery of the clients that I met, but more so by their sober intoxication and appreciation for being alive and free from the suffocating grasp of their destructive dependencies. What a feeling that must be!Saoirse is the Irish word for freedom and there could hardly be a more appropriate name for the city-based addiction centre. And it is certainly a very fitting moniker for the service the city-based centre delivers.Through harm reduction and abstinence they work to free people from the slavery of their addictions. The ultimate goal for any of the many clients who walk through their doors is to become substance free and maintain an abstinent lifestyle.General manager Alan Galvin and clinical director Liam Ryan are backed up by a team of 12 qualified addiction counsellors to provide a unique, free non-residential day treatment centre — the only one of its kind in the Mid-West and, probably, the greater Munster area.The Saoirse team might not wear high-vis vests, but having worked with over 500 clients in the past two years, they are on the frontline of saving lives and then changing them for the better. A more dedicated and caring bunch of seasoned professionals you are unlikely to meet.“We are on the frontline and many of the people who come here are on the final frontier between life and death. For some, we are their only hope,” Mr Galvin commented.Committed to providing the highest quality of service and improving evidential outcomes in a structured environment, Saoirse is a specialist provider of addiction counselling and programmes for alcohol, drugs and gambling. After a walk-in screening process, the centre offers a range of supports and treatment options for people and families affected by addiction.From the moment I walked up Saoirse’s stairs, I could sense that this was a safe, inclusive and accepting sanctuary for those in dire straits to come and share their deepest woes in confidence.Eighty five per cent of the treatment centre’s clients are from Limerick City and the surrounding surburbs with people also travelling from Clare, Tipperary, Cork, Galway and Kerry for help.Fifty per cent of Saoirse’s clients are currently in treatment for difficulties with alcohol; 45 per cent for drug dependency and the remaining five for gambling. Clients range in age from 18 to 73 with the average age, 34.Surprisingly, 60 per cent of those in treatment at the city addiction centre are female, an “unusually high figure” in comparison for the greater Dublin area where only an estimated 35 per cent of those in treatment are women. Saoirse put the large numbers of women in treatment in Limerick down to socio-economic factors and the availability of cheap alcohol.According to Mr Galvin, footfall is also increasing with more than 25 new clients a month availing of Saoirse’s free service. He states that addiction “knows no boundaries” and tells me that they see people from all backgrounds and circumstances coming for help.“We believe there is no such thing as a hopeless case. We treat everyone with respect and empathy and have an open, revolving door policy and there is no barriers to entry here!” Mr Galvin insists.“I’ve heard stories of people who’ve walked up and down the path outside, going: ‘will I, won’t I’. People can come to us and, if they don’t succeed at first, they are welcome to come back. People come here as a result of choices they have made, but they are free to change; free to make new healthier choices,” he concludes.As Napoleon Bonaparte put it, “Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.”‘John’ (38)“I WOULD probably be dead or in jail now if it wasn’t for Saoirse. I was drinking myself to death before I came here. I wasn’t doing it deliberately, I wasn’t conscious of it, but I was killing myself. I would wake up in hospital, I would wake up in Garda stations, I would wake up in lanes, I would wake up in people’s gardens on trampolines. I would wake up and ask myself where am I?But then one day I looked in the mirror and asked who am I? I didn’t recognise myself. That really frightened me, I didn’t know who I was anymore. Drinking affected my physical and mental health and I needed help.I wasn’t too happy about being here when I came first. I couldn’t get my head around what I was discovering about my addiction, but it was a safe environment for me to open up without being judged. I had to unravel and educate myself and find out about the triggers that made me want to drink. I was an alcoholic for over 20 years. I would drink if I was happy and I would drink if I was sad. I went from drinking at weekends to drinking seven days a week and then first thing in the morning. I just couldn’t get enough of it and I couldn’t stop. I didn’t understand why, but I’m aware of the triggers now and haven’t drank in a year.When I drank I would be aggressive and start arguments with people and I didn’t even know I was doing it. I thought it was always other’s peoples’ fault. I would upset my family and friends, end up isolating myself, and would just get more and more depressed. Now I’m happy and have started to do things for me that I never would have done before. I’ve gotten into writing songs and art and I’m looking at going to college and I’m just more focused on living.”‘Anne’ (60)“I WOULD probably be dead if it wasn’t for Saoirse. I drank for 30 years. I drank hard. I couldn’t face the world or go out without having a drink. I would be nervous and scared without it. I thought drinking made me the life and soul of the party and I couldn’t function without it. I felt nobody understood me and drink was my answer to everything.I haven’t drank in two years now. I feel liberated and free. I can go out and go to parties and drink a glass of lemonade now, it doesn’t bother me if other people are drinking around me. I thought I wouldn’t ever be able to exist without a drink; that very thought frightened me for years. I was afraid of being without it and I didn’t know who to turn to for help. Now I want to sing Saoirse’s praises from the very top of the O’Connell Monument. They are wonderful, and they are just here to help people and they’ve helped me build a new life. I couldn’t have faced my problems without their support and the fellowship I get from all the people here. They saved me.”‘Mary’ (55)“I had gone to rehab but it didn’t work. I tried to turn my life around but I found it very difficult. It was a constant struggle. I didn’t drink for most of my life and then I went through a bad time and I started and things spiraled out of all control very quickly.I was in a very dark place and I just couldn’t see any light or hope. Drink was my answer to everything and I was frightened to open up about it. Saoirse gives people hope, that’s what they do. They’ve been a huge support. I haven’t drank in two years. Being without it has freed me up to appreciate life for what it is. I can see the brightness again. It was hard work but it’s been worth it.”Saoirse, based at 18B Davis Street, is a charity supported by a variety of organisations, including statutory and non-statutory. It continually relies on donations and the generosity of the public to support their ongoing work to provide its service. For more details visit Saoirse on facebook, telephone 085-8184590 or email [email protected] WhatsAppcenter_img Vanishing Ireland podcast documenting interviews with people over 70’s, looking for volunteers to share their stories Advertisement Facebook Previous articleMore Gardaí needed to combat anti-social behaviour in LimerickNext articleHundreds of jobs expected from Viagogo expansion in Limerick Alan Jacqueshttp://www.limerickpost.ie Email WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Linkedin Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed livelast_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: August 28, 2020

Two Alpena Men Facing Charges After High Speed Chase

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisTwo young men from Alpena are facing a number of charges after stealing a truck and leading police on a high-speed chase through the ‘UP.’According to the Alpena Police Department, MSP Wakefield Post spotted a missing 2017 Ram pick up truck, after it was traveling at high speeds on August 11th.Troopers revealed that the truck failed to stop, causing the vehicle to collide with another vehicle at an intersection. Attempting to flee on foot, the two suspects didn’t get far, leading up to their arrest by the MSP Wakefield Post.After the chase, troopers discovered two stolen firearms from a residence in the Alpena area, inside of the stolen truck. Alpena Police Department is still trying to find the owners of the firearms, which is now another investigation.The Alpena Police Department wants to remind citizens to lock their vehicles.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Alpena arrest, Alpena Police Department, High Speed ChaseContinue ReadingPrevious Seniors at the Alpena Senior Citizens Center Create Kites to Remember Loved OnesNext Better Living Massage Center Preps for 3rd Annual ‘Relax in Alpena Day’last_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: January 20, 2020

KC’s Harrison eyes Penn Relays double

first_imgKINGSTON COLLEGE’S head coach, Neil Harrison, is banking on top performances from his athletes in the 4×100 and 4×400 metres at this weekend’s Penn Relays in the United States. Harrison’s KC will be trying to rebound from a 30-point loss to Calabar High at the recent Boys and Girls’ Championships and with titles and bragging rights up for grabs at the prestigious relay carnival, battle lines have already been drawn. Harrison is of the view that any win over his school’s longtime rivals will be a welcome one. “We are ready … we are going after the 4x100m and the 4x400m and we are hoping that in the 4x800m we will do well,” he pointed out in a recent interview. According to Harrison, the 4x100m this year would feel special. He stressed that the double would be nice. “I won two titles with the 4x400m team, so I am pretty much interested in the 4x100m,” he continued, while adding: “Not that I am not interested in the 4x400m, but we will see how things work out.” The coach said his charges are motivated to do well. “Yes, especially coming out of last weekend’s 39.52 seconds clocking. The Penn Relays will be keenly contested, but we are optimistic. We are hoping that things will go in our favour,” added Harrison. Anchor leg runner, Shivnarine Smalling told The Gleaner after their fast time at the MVP track meet that his KC team “changed up their 4x100m running order and are confident of victory ahead of Penns”.last_img read more