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RTE Primetime investigation into Victory Outreach raises the urgent need for change- Mac Lochlainn

18 December, 2013 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Justice and Equality, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has said that the RTE Primetime investigation aired last night on the charity, "Victory Outreach" reveals the need for urgent change to our probation laws and the regulation of charities and drug addiction centres.

He also called on the Government to address the "scandalous" lack of drug addiction recovery and treatment beds in Dublin and elsewhere across the state.

The Donegal North East Deputy said:

"Last night’s investigation was surely a wake-up call. The revelation that there is one drug recovery/ treatment bed for every 400 drug addicts in Dublin alone is shocking and lies at the core of the problem.

There is also a valid concern that the lessons of the Magdalene Laundries and Bethany Homes have still not been learned. It is just not acceptable for the state to pass on its responsibilities to private or charitable interests, particularly when they are unregulated.

The need for the full implementation by this Government of the Charities Act 2009 and the Charities Regulatory Authority is again brought into sharp focus".

He continued:

"The fact that many of the residents of "Victory Outreach" centres were there with the imprimatur of our courts and probation service is worrying and there is clearly a need to strengthen our probation laws in relation to accountability and regulation. I will attempt to raise this matter and my real concerns with the Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter at Topical Issues tomorrow".

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