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Sep 2016 by PCI College

Connection Profile: Cuan Mhuire

Cuan Mhuire recently celebrated 50 years in operation. With a nationwide network of Addition Treatment & Rehabilitation Centres and Transition Houses located in counties Cork, Down, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Limerick, Monaghan and Tipperary, Cuan Mhuire is now Ireland’s largest provider of residential detoxification and treatment services for those suffering from addiction.

Cuan Mhuire is a a charitable organisation founded by Sr Consilio Fitzgerald in Athy, Co Kildare in 1966. Providing a 24/7, 365 day a year service and with all faiths & cultures welcomed and valued, Cuan Mhuire operates on the principle that there are no hopeless cases.


“Cuan Mhuire is a place where I change myself, not anyone else”

Treatment Capacity
Cuan Mhuire has approximately 500 treatment beds nationwide. Of these 82 are designated for detoxification (both male and female). This is a huge plus because such facilities are uncommon in most treatment centres. The annual number of admissions is approximately 3,000.

Typically, this comprises of two weeks detoxification – in a specialist 24-hour nurse staffed unit, with the necessary medical support and supervision available.

 It takes place in a loving, caring, family atmosphere and the programme is based on the philosophy of total abstinence. The programme strives not only to address the addiction but also the underlying cause of the addiction and restore the confidence, self-respect and sense of responsibility of the participants.  The programme includes:
•    Detoxification (each centre has a detoxification or assessment unit)
•     Individual Counselling
•     Group Therapy
•     Meditation and Relaxation Therapy
•     Alternative Therapies
•     Videos/ Films/ Lectures
•     Therapeutic Activities
•     Attendance at A.A., N.A. and G.A. meetings
•      Family Days

Family Support
Central to the Cuan Mhuire philosophy is a sense of belonging, inclusiveness and recognising the importance of the family. Consequently, every effort is made to support the families of those undertaking the programme. Where possible and appropriate, the participation of family in the healing, recovery and rehabilitation of the person on the programme is encouraged and facilitated. Family Days are provided in each Treatment Centre.

Aftercare is provided for two years for those in recovery and for their families. Meetings are held weekly in various centres throughout the country. In addition, aftercare is held monthly in each Cuan Mhuire Treatment Centre.

Residential Transition Houses
Many, close to 50%, of those availing of addiction treatment in Cuan Mhuire Centres have been homeless at the time of admission. They have experienced sleeping rough or living in hostels for years. It can be daunting to return to society on completion of their programme, especially if they lack financial and/or family support.

To meet their needs, Cuan Mhuire established its first Transition House at 38-39 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin in the early 1990’s. Since then Transition Houses have been opened in Limerick, Galway, Dublin and Monaghan. Cuan Mhuire currently caters for close to 100 residents in its Transition Houses.

The purpose of transition houses is to provide a “home from home” within an environment which encourages self-awareness, self-respect, self-esteem and a sense of responsibility. Residents stay in these houses for 3 to 6 months, or until they feel ready for independent living.

Friends of Cuan Mhuire
‘Friends of Cuan Mhuire’ is a new support network, being established in towns across Ireland, for people in recovery and their families, where people are helped find their feet in the early, and sometimes difficult, days of recovery.
“somewhere to go, someone to talk to, friends to rely on and a welcome whenever you call by.”

Each unit is independent, rooted in its own community, managed by the ‘friends’ themselves and link in friendship to the nearest Cuan Mhuire centre.
Galilee House of Studies, Athy, Co Kildare
A two-year diploma course in counselling and psychotherapy, accredited by the Addiction Counsellors of Ireland (ACI) and by the National Association of Pastoral Counselling & Psychotherapy (NAPCP) is available at Galilee House of Studies

The purpose of this course is to provide systematic training in counselling theory and practice at a level that will prepare participants to counsel in a variety of settings and to use various counselling approaches.
A little about the author
Jonathan Byrne is an addiction counsellor (pre-acred MIACP) in Teach Mhuire, Dublin, a Transition House for people in recovery from addiction. He believes that those of us who have suffered traumatic experiences and events in our lives are well equipped to become counsellors, once they have learnt the skills. That those traumatic experiences and events actually enhance their ability to be empathetic towards others. Jonathan has certainly, through his own experiences in life, done that and worn the T-Shirt.
Jonathan firmly believes that there is no substitute for life experience, and that everything happens for a reason. If he hadn’t experienced his own addiction problems he would not be on the path that he is on now, committed and passionate about helping others to help themselves.
He would very much like to take this opportunity to thank Sr Consilio and the staff of Cuan Mhuire for never closing their door to him, and allowing him to become the person he was always meant to be.

Teach Mhuire, 36/39 Gardiner St, Dublin 1. Tel: 01-8788877, e-mail:

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