Cllr. Pearse McGeough, Bishop Michael Router, Marion Sloane (FASN) and Cllr. Maeve Yore.

Family Addiction Support Network highlights work in north east

The organisation which helps families whose loved ones are in addiction held a briefing for elected members from the north east at their facility in Dundalk this week.
The Family Addiction Support Network (FASN) organised the event in order to raise awareness about the vital role they play in communities in Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan and urged politicians to help put the group on a sustainable footing by lobbying for core funding.
The newly-appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh, Michael Router, who, earlier this summer, used his first public speech to highlight the damage being caused by drugs in general and the ongoing feud in Drogheda in particular, attended the event at the group’s Dundalk base at Lios Dubh.
Louth TD Declan Breathnach was joined by Louth councillors Pearse McGeough, Maeve Yore, Ruairí Ó Murchú and Paddy McQuillan, as well as Garda inspector Ronan Carey and representatives from the HSE.
FASN chairperson, Marian Sloane, outlined the work that the group, which was founded in Cavan by Gwen and Jackie McKenna in 2002, carry out in communities in the North East and how funding was now urgently needed to ensure its continuation and growth.
Jackie told politicians about how the group relies on piecemeal funding and fundraising efforts by volunteers. The service they run, which includes peer-led groups, counselling, training for family members who wish to become facilitators, reflects best practice in the area of family support and fits with the United Nations’ global sustainability goals.
In addition, because FASN is community-based and peer-led, it ensures that for every euro of funding invested, there is a measurable social return of more than five euro.
Jackie asked elected representatives to highlight the work of FASN at every opportunity, in Leinster House and in council chambers in the north east and to help the group secure core State funding to ensure its future is sustainable.
Former councillor and FASN board member, Mark Dearey, said politicians should not worry about lending their name to the organisation’s funding campaign. He said it is extremely professionally run and governed by a board where families affected by addiction have a central role.
Perhaps the most poignant and moving part of the event was a panel discussion, hosted by Dundalk FM’s Pat Byrne. Politicians heard from a mum whose daughter battled addiction and how FASN had played a massive role in helping her deal with her child’s addiction.
A young woman also spoke frankly about her partner’s addiction and how FASN, after just a few months, was already making a huge difference to her ability to cope with it.
Speaking after the event, Jackie said: ‘We were really pleased with the reaction from those who attended this morning and we were happy to have the opportunity to bring them to our centre and let them hear, first hand from our families, how important the work that we do is.
‘We hope the politicians will use their influence to raise our case in Leinster House, and in every other forum, to ensure that core funding is forthcoming for FASN’.
FASN provides help and support for families whose loved ones are in addiction. The organisation covers Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan and can be contacted 24 hours at 087 9046405 or email: