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Urgent action required to stem influx of crystal meth – Ó Snodaigh

23 July, 2008 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Responding to the record seizure of methamphetamine of crystal meth in County Offaly on Monday Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said the new National Drugs Strategy, which is currently being drafted, must include measures to pre-empt the influx of this type of drug into the country and an awareness programme of the very dangerous effects of the drug.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh also welcomed the conviction of three men in relation to the record seizure of cocaine off the coast of Cork last year.

Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "Sinn Féin has been warning for some time of the threat of crystal meth to communities in Ireland and of the very real possibility of this drugs establishing a foothold in Ireland.

"Monday's record seizure of six kilos of methamphetamine in County Offaly confirms that our concerns were justified. It is now essential that the Government does not repeat the mistakes of the past when it ignored warnings of a possible outbreak of the heroin epidemic to the detriment of local communities. The Minister must heed the warning of international trends and take strong action now.

"Firm action is required to stem the outbreak of crystal meth in Ireland. Crystal meth is already known to be available in Ireland's cities, towns and even rural settings already. There have been consistent seizures of it here since 2004 and the quantities seized, although considered relatively small, are rising. And it may have already cost young lives. The consequences of crystal meth can be aggression, psychosis, addiction, abscesses, liver or kidney disease.

"This drug is highly addictive and if it gets a foothold in Ireland it will have seriously detrimental impact on the safety of our communities.

"The next National Drugs Strategy from 2009 to 2016 must include an awareness campaign to warn people of the dangers of these drugs along with measures to pre-empt their influx into the country.

"I also want to welcome the convictions yesterday of three men on charges relating to the record seizure of €440 million of cocaine off the coast of Cork. I congratulate those Gardaí and custom officers involved." ENDS

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