Sunday 25 August 2019

WATCH: Comedian PJ Gallagher says helping addicts is a 'hard sell' for campaigning politicians

PJ Gallagher. Photo: Justin Farrelly
PJ Gallagher. Photo: Justin Farrelly

Gabija Gataveckaite

Comedian and activist PJ Gallagher has said that vowing to help drug addicts recover is a "hard sell" for politicians on the campaign trial.

As part of a Safer from Harm campaign, the comedian sat down in a powerful interview and discussed why he believes illegal drugs should be decriminalised and more support must be provided for those battling drug addiciton.

Discussing his views on drug decriminalisation, Mr Gallagher explained that it is much easier for campaigning councillors and TDs to earn votes when canvassing by

"It's a much tougher sell to say, 'we're gonna try and help addiction in the area, we're gonna try and build a clinic. We want a safe place here for people to go and use needles.'

"That's a much harder sell than 'we're gonna get them f***ers of the street there, and we're gonna move them on outta there and we're gonna clean this area," he added.

"It's a much easier sell, and I honestly think that's what it is."

The campaigner also discusses that the 'Irish way' of dealing with an issue is by pretending it's not there.

"The Irish way of any problem, any problem we've ever had, the way we deal with it it's to pretend it's not there until we're all affected."

He used a personal example of being born in the mother and baby home Bessborough House in Cork.

"I was born in Bessborough House because people were too afraid to talk about wanting to have sex and getting pregnant and it was such a shame," he explained.

"I was born in Bessborough House because a woman was sent away from where she lived to livwe with nuns, where everyone told lies about where she was," he added.

"Cloak and dagger and secrets and lies they get us nowhere."

Safer from Harm is a "civil society camapign to decriminalise people who use drugs", according to its website.

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