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Government must prioritise early intervention for children at risk of becoming involved in criminal activity – Ó Snodaigh

13 March, 2008

Speaking in response to reports of children as young as ten being groomed by criminal gangs Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said the Government must remember that it is their duty to focus on children who are at risk of becoming involved in criminal activities with early intervention programmes.

Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "There is an urgent need for the government to formulate a multi-departmental response in partnership with communities to prioritise early intervention for children and young people, particularly those who grow up in an environment of violence and abuse, who are identifiably at risk of becoming serious offenders themselves.

"This need is more urgent than ever as evidenced by the young age of the boy appearing a Limerick District Court for handling a loaded Magnum handgun.

"Anyone who is found to be taking advantage of or targeting children for criminal activity, particularly those below the age of criminal responsibility, must be made to face the full rigours of the law. This is a very serious offence and the Gardaí must target the pursuit of these offenders." ENDS

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