New Jersey Governor voices support for supervised injection centres during visit to Cork

The Garden State Governor was leading a trade delegation to Ireland which included a stop in Cork city to explore the potential for strengthening business ties between New Jersey and the Cork region.
New Jersey Governor voices support for supervised injection centres during visit to Cork

Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy is congratulated by Lord Mayor Cllr Colm Kelleher after his speech in Cork City Hall. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

THE Governor of New Jersey has voiced support for supervised injection centres as “part of the solution” in tackling the heroin problem during a visit to Cork.

Phil Murphy, who has previously spoken of the need to eliminate stigma and promote a compassionate approach to tackling opioid misuse, made the comment while speaking to reporters during a visit to City Hall yesterday.

The Garden State Governor, with ancestral ties to Cork, was leading a trade delegation to Ireland which included a stop in Cork city to explore the potential for strengthening business ties between New Jersey and the Cork region.

Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy, First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy and trade delegation were welcomed to Cork by Lord Mayor Cllr Colm Kelleher and Chief Executive Ann Doherty ahead of a series of high-level engagements with Cork City’s business leaders, academics, and scientific communities. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy, First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy and trade delegation were welcomed to Cork by Lord Mayor Cllr Colm Kelleher and Chief Executive Ann Doherty ahead of a series of high-level engagements with Cork City’s business leaders, academics, and scientific communities. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy visited the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher at City Hall before the Governor embarked on a series of high-level engagements with representatives of the business, academic and scientific communities in Cork city.

When asked his opinion of supervised injection centres - a recent topic of debate and discussion in Cork – Mr Murphy said he believes such centres are “important and helpful entities”.

“We call them harm reduction centres in New Jersey, and we believe in them. We believe that they are forces for the good.

“The arguments against them have tended to be what I would call ‘not in my backyard’ – less about whether or not they do good, more ‘I don’t want this at the end of my street’.

“But we believe that they are important and helpful entities.

“We both battle the scourge of opioid abuse and it is a scourge, it’s an epidemic.

“The Covid pandemic has made it worse, at least in America and I suspect that may be true everywhere. There’s no magic wand but we think those centres are part of the solution.” 

The Lord Mayor, who has remained steadfast in his belief that such centres can help save lives, reaffirmed this view during the Governor’s visit. 

“It’s something I’m passionate about myself, it’s something that I’ve been lobbying central Government for funds in recent days just prior to the Governor’s visit," he said.

“As the Governor alluded to, it’s the same argument here, ‘not in my backyard’, but these are effectively about helping people - poor souls who have lost their way,” he continued.

Mr Murphy’s itinerary during his visit to Cork included a meeting with Cork Chamber, a tour of UCC laboratories and a discussion on clean energy, hosted by Ørsted - a clean energy company with offices based in Cork.

He spoke of the commonalities between the New Jersey economy and the Irish economy and said he believed there is “lots of opportunity” for cross-collaboration on a range of projects, including renewable energy.

“The Irish economy, and Cork in particular, matches almost seamlessly with the New Jersey economy, very much innovation-based, green-based, [an] emphasis on higher education, innovation, entrepreneurial – lots of stuff in common in our respective economies,” he continued.

Separately, the First Lady was yesterday expected to meet with Cork City Council’s Women’s Caucus, representatives of IWish, in addition to paying a visit to a local girls’ school and Cork University Maternity Hospital.

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