Minister Josepha Madigan has come under fire after her constituents received a letter confirming that a methadone clinic will not be located in their area.
The Culture Minister has distanced herself from the letter saying that she had not approved the wording before it was sent out to residents in Ballinteer in Dublin.
"Confirmed -No Methadone clinic in Ballinteer Health Centre"
Local Update from Minister Josepha Madigan pic.twitter.com/NaocGBKqit— Alan Kinsella (@electionlit) July 30, 2019
The letter in Ms Madigan’s name reads:
I am pleased to reassure local residents that following representations from my office to the Department of Health, I have been informed that a new methadone clinic will not be developed at the Ballinteer Health Centre as the existing services are adequate.
I know many people were concerned about this prospect following the closure of the methadone clinic in Baggot Street.
This health centre is used by many local residents and would not be suitable as a methadone clinic.
Dr Gareth McGovern, Medical Director of the Priority Medical Clinic, has accused her of nimbyism or 'not in my back yard'.
Dr McGovern said: "I mean the disturbing part of this that upset me somewhat was that she was rejoicing in the fact that she had blocked it happening.
"It's huge nimbyism, isn't it?"
Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said the minister was “a disgrace”, asking: “Does she genuinely believe that no local residents have drug problems?
"It says everything about Fine Gael’s approach to the drugs crisis.”
Solidarity TD Mr Murphy added that the letter was “quite disgusting and demonstrates typical Fine Gael snobbery.”