Humans of North-East Inner-City: Carmel

A smiling lady wearing a white Blazer with black stripes and gold buttons. She has light blonde hair and she's has a lovely smile and pink nails
Carmel Cosgrove is a volunteer and founding member of East Wall Youth, Founding member of HOPE, Board member of Friends of Gateway and previous Lord Mayor of East Wall.

‘There was three women and about eight men. And we decided we’d call ourselves East Wall Against Drugs. And it started out we put letters into everybody’s letterbox. ‘Do you know a drug dealer?’ There’s no point in floating about with it. And we got back a response. And it wasn’t news to us because we knew who was selling drugs. We set ourselves up and used to have the marches and the meetings in the old community centre. There was meetings going on at Sean McDermot Street and Sherrard Street, and you’d go to one on Monday night, we’d march on somebody and crowds of people would go. I have to say; it was the older people down here because most of, the younger people were working. And I’m saying women of my age, then, they sat out. So we had a local fella down here, and they sat outside his house for 10 days. And we got him out. It went on from there. And then we decided, after about 18 months, what would you do with the one or two people that were addicted in the community that we knew of. We’d have to do something. So, we met up with people from Sean McDermott Street, and we used the Crinann, it’s the old Magdalene’s convent. It was like-minded people from all around the city. And we got people in to facilitate meetings, to educate us to see could we help them, because at the time, there wasn’t very much help. So then we decided that that’s what we’d do. ‘Cause we’d have to help people. You couldn’t just throw them aside. After, we used to deliver programs to schools, drug awareness and things like that. We got funding and an office on the North Strand, and it went from strength to strength. Now we have 4 paid people. But now you could have about 80 clients a week up there. And you help them to get clean. It has to be a holistic thing. So HOPE is going marvellous. I’m delighted to have been a part of that. I still am.

Just know there’s good and bad everywhere. But I would say to people like, you have to take a chance on where you’re going to live. No matter where you live, you have to be part of the community. You can’t stand off from the community. Don’t be afraid in your community. Get out there and say, well, could we organise our own football match? Could we get kids? Would there be anyone there with skills? That’s when your community starts. But all I can say to people is, if you are in a community, please, please be part of it. Cause you can’t stand back from it. And there’s no point saying, ‘Oh geez, there’s nothing’. If you are not going to do anything. And then once one person makes a move to do something, ‘Ah, sure, I’ll help you with that.’ And don’t be afraid to ask for help. ‘I was thinking of doing this’, but you’d be afraid, you know? People are generally very good.’