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  • Northside West

Tree ceremony symbolises hope as drug victims are remembered

Wednesday, 27th December, 2017 10:00am
Tree ceremony symbolises hope as drug victims are remembered

Rihanna Walsh and Brook Gray with one of the stars that was placed on the the Christmas tree on Buckingham Street to remember Rihanna’s late uncle, Jay Lynch, along with others who died from drug addiction. PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

Tree ceremony symbolises hope as drug victims are remembered

Rihanna Walsh and Brook Gray with one of the stars that was placed on the the Christmas tree on Buckingham Street to remember Rihanna’s late uncle, Jay Lynch, along with others who died from drug addiction. PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

A MOVING Christmas tree lighting ceremony took place at the junction of Buckingham Street and Killarney Street, Dublin 1, earlier this month.

The junction was once a haunt of drug dealers and the commemorative tree was erected by Dublin City Council at the request of ICON (Inner City Organisations Network) as a message of defiance, and in commemoration of all those who have died from drug addiction.

The tree is also a symbol of hope for the community and particularly for young people affected by drug abuse.

Organisers say the lighting ceremony acts as a reminder of the extent of the suffering that people from the north east inner city have experienced. 

According to ICON, the tree is a symbol of support to all the families who have lost children, brothers, sisters and parents to substance misuse.

This year, ICON acknowledged the progress that has been made by services supporting families that have been affected by the drugs issue.

“This community is great for coming together and supporting one another in times of sadness and happiness,” said ICON’s Vanessa Lynch.

“This tree is a symbol of our community’s unity and it allows us to remember those who have passed from drug-related causes.”

Carina O’Brien from ICON highlighted recent figures from the Health Research Board on fatalities linked to drug abuse. 

“The figures relating to 2015 showed that there were 695 deaths, almost two per day, as a result of poisoning, trauma or medical causes linked to drug use,” she said. “Of that number, 232 people died where prescription drugs were implicated in those deaths. These prescription drugs are visibly sold daily in this area.

“The event marks the continued loss and hurt we have experienced in our families and communities and again reminds us that when we stand together with purpose we can find ways beyond the destruction of drugs and violence.”

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here