Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, Deputy Jonathan O’Brien outlined the impact that the cuts to the Cork Drugs Task Force have had on service provision in the area and called on the government to increase funding and at the very least maintain their funding.
Deputy O’Brien said;
“Last week the Co-ordinator for the Cork Drugs Task Force outlined the cuts that they have taken since 2008 which has impacted massively on delivering drug and alcohol services in this area, at a time when the level of drug possessions detected by Gardaí are on the rise.
“There has been an increase in heroin use in Cork city and a number of deaths due to the drug. The Task Force was established in 1997 to address the growing alcohol and drugs issues facing the city and yet they have had a half a million decrease in funding.
“It funded around 21 local projects but has now ceased funding to about 8 projects. Cut have had to be made meaning there have been reductions in opening hours and staff losses.
“They fund community local and community groups that have a pivotal role in combatting drug and alcohol abuse and educating school children about the dangers and this is having a real impact on the ground.
“Unless there’s a change in policy we’ll end up condemning our children and communities in the long wrong.
“I ask you on behalf of the communities that I represent to stop this policy and ensure that their funding is maintained at the very least.”