Home > Tommy Larkin 1951 - 2004. An appreciation.

Connolly, Johnny (2004) Tommy Larkin 1951 - 2004. An appreciation. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 10, March 2004, p. 14.

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Tommy Larkin established the first drug-users’ forum in Merchants Quay Ireland and was a co-ordinator with the Union for Improved Services, Communication and Education (UISCE) Tommy, whom I first met in 1995, had an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of drug use in Ireland and he recently played a central role in ensuring that drug users were provided a voice in ongoing drug policy. In his descriptions of the drug-using experience, Tommy complemented his in-depth knowledge with humility, compassion and humour. His advocacy of the interests of drug users was not grounded in sentimentality but reflected his sense of justice. At another level, through publications such as Brass Munkie, Tommy used his artistic talents to encourage awareness and harm reduction practices within the drug-using community.

On the last occasion we met, Tommy talked favourably about the meetings held with drug service users in Liberty Hall on the impact of the Methadone Protocol. One of the outcomes of that process, UISCE’S recent ground-breaking study, Methadone: What’s the Story, portrays Tommy’s understanding and vision. Several hundred drug-service users attended the Liberty Hall meetings and participated in the surveys that formed the basis for that study. Providing such a voice to the marginalised was a focus of Tommy’s work over the past ten years. As Irish society learns to listen to that voice, so his legacy will be realised. 

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Issue Title
Issue 10, March 2004
March 2004
Page Range
p. 14
Health Research Board
Issue 10, March 2004
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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