10 June 2011

Minister Lights Candle of Hope in Bawnogue

Frances Fitzgerald delivers moving key note address at special service in Bawnogue

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald delivered this years key note address at the annual service of commemoration and hope in Bawnogue’s Church of the Transfiguration.

Frances said that this is an event she has attended for the past number of years and always finds a moving occasion. This year she was invited to deliver a key note address to the congregation in her new capacity as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

The eleventh annual service was organized by the Bawnogue Youth and Family Support Service currently located in Bawnogue Shopping Centre and due to move to a new premises on the Nangor Road in September.

Speaking at the event Minister Fitzgerald said that this annual service was all about hope.

“Times can be so tough. During this recession people have found themselves under huge stress and strain and these pressures are being felt by families all over the country - but we must never lose hope. No matter how bad things get - we must never lose hope. That is the message of today, the message of the support group and the message that Barrack Obama espoused on the streets of Dublin this week. ‘Never lose hope’ rings true no matter what your circumstances. This evening’s service is about remembrance and above all – hope,” said Fitzgerald speaking at the event.

“All too many families have lost members to drugs misuse and it is only right and proper that those often-short lives are acknowledged in a dignified and respectful manner like this. Families are at the core of our society. They show amazing relisience and determination. I know so many of you have suffered and experienced the distress and pain of your family member’s drug misuse. Many of you are playing the parent role with your grandchildren or taking care of nephews and nieces. I pay tribute to your unflinching acceptance and your enormous efforts to keep your families together, under such great strain.

“Families are the bedrock of our society, the place we come from, and the place we return to. The role of the family in the rehabilitation process can be instrumental. That is why it is so important that service providers like the Bawnogue Youth and Family Support Group, actively seek the participation of families in the rehabilitation process and ensure that treatment centres can deal with families. Rehabilitation is a pillar of our National Drugs Strategy and a cornerstone of all our drug policies. With help, support and hope,” said Fitzgerald.