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Crowe - Reason for resignation of chair of National Drugs Strategy alarming

29 May, 2005


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social, Community and Family Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has described as Œalarming‚ the resignation of chairman of the National Drugs Strategy Team subcommittee on the Local Drug Task Forces, Fergus McCabe, over the failure of the Health Service Executive (HSE) to appoint a representative to the body.

Deputy Crowe said, "I find it astonishing that somebody like Fergus McCabe, who has tremendous credibility in this area has been forced into this situation. I can absolutely understand the frustration and anger he and others on the National Drugs Strategy Team feel at the failure of the Health Service Executive to appoint a representative to the body. Coupled with the news that the Department of Health is indicating that it wants to come off the body it paints a stark picture of the Government's waning interest in the escalating drugs crisis in this state.

"The participation of both of these agencies is absolutely crucial if the National Drugs Strategy Team is to be effective. It is alarming that those ultimately responsible for this policy area are effectively washing their hands of it.

"As the Minister with responsibility for implementing the National Drugs Strategy Noel Ahern needs to get his finger out and get on top of his brief. He needs to put pressure on his cabinet colleague Mary Harney to ensure that the Department of Health and the HSE fulfil their obligations in this crucial area and do so immediately before the whole strategy unravels."ENDS

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