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26 April 2007 Edition

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Wexford tragedy : need to look seriously at service provision

John Dwyer

John Dwyer

Monageer deaths ‘unbelievable tragedy’ — Dwyer

Sinn Féin County Councillor, John Dwyer has described as an ‘unbelievable tragedy’ the deaths of four members of one family in the village of Monageer in County Wexford on Monday. Dwyer said he wished to express his ‘sincere and heartfelt condolences’ to the families and friends of those bereaved.  He said it was a ‘shocking event’ which he said ‘left not only this small community reeling but the entire county stunned.’
Councillor Dwyer said: “This is not the first time such an appalling tragedy has hit the people of Wexford.  People were still coming to terms with two other relatively recent tragedies where several members of a family, including very young children have been killed by other family members, who then went on to take their own lives.
Dwyer went on to say that, “People truly are struggling to understand why this is happening to our community.  Is it part and parcel of today’s modern Irish society where people are inward looking and feel isolated from community and community values?  Is it about the pressures of trying to keep up with the Celtic Tiger?  Whatever the problem and issues are – solutions are needed urgently.
“In recent weeks I highlighted the fact that it was difficult to access out of hour social services.  Again in the past number of days I’ve had people contact me concerned about the mental health of a family member and expressing their dismay that they could not find anybody to help them.
“If we as a society are to try and halt the kind of awful tragedy that has hit Monageer today then we need to seriously look at the services we are providing.  At the very least people need to have ready access to social services 24 hours a day – seven days a week.  But we need more than that – we need to start addressing the underlying causes that drive a person to carry out such a dreadful act.
“The most innocent of lives were lost here today – we can’t allow it to continue happening.”

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