Ó Snodaigh welcomes conviction of major cocaine traffickers
Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh has welcomed the conviction and sentencing today of three major drug traffickers in relation to the seizure of €400million worth of cocaine off the coast of Cork last November. However, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said locking up drug dealers will not alone solve the drugs crisis and efforts must be made to tackle the demand for drugs.
He said, "I welcome the conviction and sentencing of the three major drug traffickers today. More resources must be given to the Garda Drug Squads in order to secure more convictions of major drug dealers.
"However, while convicting drug dealers is of major importance, it alone will not solve the drugs crisis and a major effort must be made to tackle the demand for illegal drugs.
"Yesterday I launched Sinn Féin’s priorities for the National Drugs Strategy 2009 – 2016. In it my party outlined a number of preventative measures which could be taken to help stem the demand for drugs and to dissuade young people from going down that road.
"Our proposals include the reinstatement of the sports capital grant which was a major component of the previous drugs strategy but which was abolished by the Government in budget 2009. It should be reinstated with a particular focus on areas suffering high levels of drug use and it should be reinforced with community employment schemes to run the facilities.
"We also called on the Government to reverse its cuts in the area of special needs teaching and additional resources for schools again focussing on areas suffering high levels of drug use were many children are at serious risk of becoming involved in drugs and associated crime.
"We argue that it is economically prudent to invest in the fight against drugs because if we fail to prevent an escalation of the current drugs crisis it will incur a massive cost to the exchequer which the state can ill afford. Not to mention the human cost to individuals, families and communities. Experience tells us that economic recessions and drugs crises go hand in hand so now is the time to invest rather that using the recession as an excuse to cut funds to local and regional drugs tasks forces as the Government is currently doing." ENDS