Home > MQI annual review 2011.

McGuire, Vivion and Condron, Ita (2013) MQI annual review 2011. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 44, Winter 2012, pp. 22-23.

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The Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI) annual review for 2011 was launched on 14 September 2012 by journalist and broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan.1 

Important new initiatives at MQI in 2011 included the Athlone Open Door Centre, the new 10-bed unit at St Francis Farm Detox facility (opened in November 2011) and the commencement of renovation works at the Riverbank Centre. (This new Centre was officially opened by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny in November 2012 – see opposite.)
The outreach worker for the New Communities Support Service provided one-to-one support to 112 service users, 53% of whom were from Poland. The Easy Access Education for Homeless People programme engaged with 45 clients during 2011: 34 male and 11 female.
MQI’s needle-exchange service recorded approximately 21,819 client visits in 2011. The reporthighlights a continuing high level of demand for homeless services: 58,858 meals were provided, with an additional 29,000 meals provided by the Extended Day Service in association with Focus Ireland. The Primary Health Care Services provided 3,331 interventions in 2011.
MQI continued to provide the national prison-based addiction counselling service to 12 prisons in 2011: 10,293 individual counselling sessions and 2,830 group attendances were recorded during the year. This service is provided by 26 counsellors. The service also co-ordinates an eight-week inter-agency programme at the medical unit in Mountjoy for groups of nine clients at a time. Seven groups, totalling 63 clients, participated in 2011, of whom only four did not complete the programme.  
MQI in association with the Midland Regional Drugs Task Force and the HSE administer the Midlands Family Support and Community Harm Reduction Service, providing outreach and working with families of those actively using drugs in that task force region. The family support service provided 140 group sessions and 505 individual sessions, in addition to 723 supportive phone calls. The harm reduction service provided needle-exchange services and engaged in 4,000 one-to-one client interventions during 2011. The Midlands Traveller-Specific Drugs Project worked with 38 clients and engaged in 1,187 support sessions. Athlone Open Door Centre, for which MQI assumed operational responsibility in January 2011, recorded 1,415 visits and provided 400 meals, with an average of 44 clients per month.
The services offered by MQI and the numbers of people accessing them in 2011 are shown below.
 www.drugsandalcohol.ie/183721. Merchants Quay Ireland (2012) Annual review 2011. Dublin: MQI.
Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 44, Winter 2012
Page Range
pp. 22-23
Health Research Board
Issue 44, Winter 2012
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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