Formal Opening of Smarmore Castle Addiction Clinic


  • Opening led by The Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing.  
  • Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh blesses Smarmore Castle and its work.
  • Smarmore Castle Private Clinic, County Louth, to treat alcohol and drug addiction in Ireland.

Thursday 30th June 2016

The formal opening of Smarmore Castle Private Clinic, for the treatment of alcohol and drug addictions, took place on Wednesday 29th June 2016.  The clinic was opened by the Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing. Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh joined the opening party and gave his blessing on the work.

He complemented the founders, Peter and Dr Margaret McCann on their work that is helping to make inroads into a chronic epidemic affecting so many, especially the young. Recent Health Research Board figures show that 25% of deaths of young men aged 16 to 37 are dying of alcohol-related factors and that alcohol plays a role in three deaths per day in Ireland.

The Grand Master referred to his family’s association with Smarmore Castle, through the Taaffe branch, going back continuously over 750 years. Fra’ Matthew expressed his satisfaction that such a distinguished and historic property had found such a caring role.

The property, going back to 1320, has been extensively renovated and adapted to its new healthcare role whilst observing official Protected Building guidelines and principals. It boasts a 22 metre indoor heated swimming pool with sauna and stream room and full use of this is made in the therapeutic programme.

About Smarmore Castle Private Clinic

Patients at Smarmore Castle Private Clinic are under the care of a highly experienced medical team, including Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Helen Barry and Addiction Specialists, Dr Hugh Gallagher and Dr David McGrath as well as clinical psychologist Nathan Rogerson, who is the clinic’s manager.

Treatment includes medical and psychiatric assessment, detoxification as well as specialist therapies including 12 step facilitation and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The complementary therapies on offer include equine (horse) therapy, aqua yoga and fitness instruction. Aftercare programmes along with family support are an integral element of the programme.

The treatment programme at Smarmore Castle Private Clinic is based on the successful addiction treatment model developed at Castle Craig Hospital, Peeblesshire, Scotland.  Since 1988, Castle Craig has treated over 9,000 patients.

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