Junior Minister for Drugs necessary but more needs to be done - Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin TD and Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has indicated his strong support for the appointment of a Junior Minister for Drugs but has raised concerns regarding the inadequacy of the way the state deals with drug abuse.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“The present Government is the first in 21 years without a Minister for Drugs. The appointment of a Junior Minister in this role would be very much welcomed. I am concerned that the Minister for Health was unaware that this role was under consideration. This suggests a lack of communication in Government.”
“I call on the Minister and the Taoiseach to clarify whether there will be a Junior Minister with this responsibility, presumably appointed to both Health and Justice, and when this will occur.”
“More needs to be done. I have secured agreement of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children to address the issue of ‘legal’ highs, mindful of the deaths that have occurred consequent on the use of these substances not only in Ireland but on a European basis.”
“There are also serious deficiencies in the Garda network of drugs taskforces. From my own constituency of Cavan Monaghan, to the larger urban centres, we need increased Garda manpower and a clear direction so that dedicated drugs taskforces exist in every Garda Division in the state.”