The former Governor of Mountjoy Prison, John Lonergan, has launched a drug awareness music video which has been produced by teenagers at the Foróige Garda Youth Diversion Project in Portarlington, County Laois.
The music video entitled 'Why Do You Make Me Cry?' tells the tragic story of a young man who dies as a result of drug abuse. The DVD was made by 22 girls and boys aged 12 to 17 who attend the Foróige Port Project in Portarlington. The ten minute long music DVD will be distributed in schools and promoted extensively online.
Speaking at the launch in Portarlington Community Centre last night, Mr Longergan said:
"The worst things to have entered Irish society in my 65-year lifetime are drugs. I spent more than 42 years working in prisons and I have seen thousands upon thousands of families devastated by drugs. In many cases entire families have been wiped out. I ask you young people never to be tempted because the only result will be total self destruction."
Paying tribute to Foróige Mr Lonergan continued:
"I am a former member of Foróige myself and I did my very first public speaking as a Foróige member more than 50 years ago. In my time it was more of a rural organisation but I know it has since grown to be a truly national body that carries out vital work at the coalface in terms of youth development. You learn new skills in Foróige that stay with you throughout your life."
Portlaoise Garda Supt Yvonne Lundon also spoke at the launch:
"We are delighted to be associated with Foróige through the Garda Youth Diversion Project in Portarlington. Drugs are a real scourge at all levels from so called social users to all out addicts. I agree that there are all sorts of new pressures on young people like social media etc but drugs should never be the answer. I would like to remind young people that there is a lot of support out there for those who get caught up in drugs. Finally, I'd like to pay tribute to the young people here for being strong enough and courageous enough to make this music video."
The co-ordinator of the Foróige Port Project in Portarlington, David Molloy, said:
"I'd like to say how proud we are of our young people for sticking with this project and seeing it through to the end. It is great to have John Longeran here given his experience down through the years in seeing at first hand how devastating drugs can be. Thanks to the Portlaoise based production company Tully TV for helping out with the project and also Elaine Hearty and Ross O'Connor of the Showstoppers Drama Group for mentoring our young actors."
For further information please contact:
Foróige Media Officer
Foróige is the leading and largest youth organisation in Ireland. The charity works with 64,000 young people and 5,500 adult volunteers annually, through a network of more than 600 youth clubs & cafés, 154 targeted projects and national programmes such as Citizenship, Entrepreneurship and Leadership.