Home > MQI annual review 2014.

Condron, Ita and McGuire, Vivion (2016) MQI annual review 2014. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 56, Winter 2016, pp. 24-25.

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The Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI) annual review for 2014 was launched on 11 September 2015 by Uachtarán na hÉireann, Michael D Higgins, on the occasion of his visit to MQI’s Drugs and Homeless Services.1


MQI’s 18th annual review notes the continuing growth of homelessness and drug use. During 2014 MQI announced a number of developments and extensions to its services, most notably the establishment of The Night Café, completion of its client management system and the introduction of a dedicated mental health nursing position. MQI also published Examining the profile and perspectives of individuals attending harm reduction services who are users of performance and image enhancing drugs,2 which was launched in November 2014 by Susan Scally, Head of the Drug Policy Unit in the Department of Health.


MQI’s New Communities Support Service provided one-to-one support to 350 service users mostly from East European countries. The largest number of new community clients were from Poland.


MQI’s needle-exchange service recorded approximately 26,400 client visits in 2014. The report highlights the  continuing high level of demand for homelessness services: 79,636 meals were provided by the day and evening services, and 5,329 health-care interventions were provided.


The year 2014 saw MQI continue to provide its national prison-based addiction counselling service to 13 prisons. MQI successfully tendered and was awarded the contract to provide this service until 2017. Demand for the service continues to be high: 11,225 individual counselling sessions were provided, and 4,273 group attendances were recorded. In Mountjoy Prison, MQI’s counselling service co-ordinates an inter-agency programme in the medical unit; during the year, 52 prisoners availed of the service, with 43 completing the programme.


MQI, in association with the Midland Regional Drugs and Alcohol Task Force and the Health Service Executive (HSE), administers 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. In 2014 : 

  • The family support service provided 212 group and 994 individual sessions, and 302 supportive phone calls.
  • The harm reduction service worked with 255 clients, providing 2,454 interventions.
  • On average, 217 needle exchanges were provided each month.
  • Athlone Open Door Centre had 144 clients, recording 2,835 visits in total and providing 2,266 meals.
  • The Midlands Rehabilitation and Aftercare service worked with 76 individuals, providing 422 one-to one-sessions and 99 group sessions.

In 2014 MQI developed two other programmes in the Midlands region: 

  • The Day Programme is a Department of Social Protection Community Employment (CE) scheme and it worked with 10 individuals during the year.
  • The Resettlement Programme has established relationships with local property owners and MQI provides eight beds for individuals in recovery.

1 Merchants Quay Ireland (2015) Annual review 2014. Dublin: MQI. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/24503/

2 Merchants Quay Ireland (2014) Examining the profile and perspectives of individuals attending harm reduction services who are users of performance and image enhancing drugs. Dublin: MQI. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/23024/

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 56, Winter 2016
January 2016
Page Range
pp. 24-25
Health Research Board
Issue 56, Winter 2016

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