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Double resources for Garda Drug Squads – Ó Snodaigh

28 January, 2008

Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has congratulated Gardaí on the weekend drugs seizures but warned that the increasing seizures of drugs are a reflection of the increased amount of drugs entering the state. Deputy Ó Snodaigh again called on Justice Minister Brian Lenihan to double the resources for the Garda Drugs Squads.

Speaking today he said, "Figures revealed today in the Irish Times show that drug seizures almost doubled last year from €89million to €160million. While I would congratulate Gardaí on this achievement I would contend that a significant factor in the increase is that increasing amounts of drugs are now entering the state. I also want to congratulate those officers involved in the seizures of over €2million worth of heroin in Dublin over the weekend.

"The fact is that Gardaí are fighting a drugs epidemic under unnecessary pressure due to a lack of resources. It is well known that Garda Drug Squad officers are sometimes involved in other Garda work outside of the remit of the Drug Squads. This is not good enough.

"Tackling drugs, and all the associated crime that comes with drugs, must be made top priority for the Gardaí. While I welcome that the Minister has made tackling drugs a named priority in the Garda Policing Plan for 2008 this must be backed up with adequate resources.

"If the Minister is serious about tackling the drugs crisis then he should provide the Gardaí with the resources to do so. I am once again calling on Minister Lenihan to at least double the resources available to the Garda Drug Squads." ENDS

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