The co-founder and chief executive of Merchants Quay Ireland, the drug treatment service, has announced his retirement.
Tony Geoghegan announced he will retire at the end of September in a statement on Tuesday. He will be replaced by Paula Byrne, the organisation's head of day services.
Merchants Quay Ireland works with people who are homeless and have addiction problems. It provides services ranging from crisis intervention and health promotion, to educational programmes, vocational training, residential treatment, detox and prison counselling.
Mr Geoghegan founded the Merchants Quay Project alongside Fr Sean Cassin in 1989. It later became Merchants Quay Ireland in 2001. It now employs over 200 staff, providing services across Ireland.
“It will be difficult to step away from MQI, but I am incredibly proud of the work done in supporting the most vulnerable and marginalised in our community,” he said.
In welcoming her appointment, Ms Byrne said Ireland was currently in the midst of a “housing and drugs crisis” which posed a societal challenge.
“MQI has always been about meeting people where they are at, providing non-judgemental, compassionate, and professional care,” she said.
“This is the core of our mission, and I am passionate about continuing and building on that work.”
Ms Byrne first joined MQI in 2008 as head of human resources, and later became head of day services, where she was responsible for health, homeless, and drugs services.