Sr Consilio Fitzgerald, the founder of Cuan Mhuire, was this week presented with the Oireachtas Human Dignity Award at a ceremony in Leinster House.
It comes 53 years after she began work from a small room in the Convent of Mercy in Athy, Co. Kildare with people experiencing addiction. Today, there are five treatment centres around Ireland, including a woman-only-facility in Cork, as well as seven transition facilities throughout the country.
The award is presented annually by the Oireachtas Human Dignity Group to a person or group committed to the promotion of human dignity.
Paying tribute to her work, Senator Rónán Mullen of the Human Dignity Group said: “addiction is a huge cause of suffering and injustice at individual, family and community level.
“Sr Consilio’s work stresses that the solution begins with respecting the individual person and building up their capacity to change and become whole again,” he said.