Merchants Quay report contradicts McDowell's evaluation of drugs problem
Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said the findings of the annual report of the Merchants Quay Project strongly contradicts Minister for Justice Michael McDowell's evaluation of the drug problem in Dublin. Deputy Ó Snodaigh said "The Minister's failure to recognise the growing availability of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin in Dublin and his subsequent inaction has meant the problem has been allowed to spiral out of control."
Speaking after attending the launch of the report yesterday Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "In June of this year I asked the Minister for Justice what steps he will take to tackle the increased availability of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin in Dublin South Central. I was astonished in July when Minister McDowell wrote to me to inform me 'there is no evidence of any increase in the availability of cocaine, freebase cocaine or heroin in the South West Inner City and Ballyfermot areas." Yesterday's annual report from the Merchants Quay Project strongly contradicts the Ministers reply to my question.
"The Minister‚s failure to recognise the growing availability of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin in Dublin and his subsequent inaction has meant the problem has been allowed to spiral out of control. In a party submission to the National Drug Strategy Mid-Term Review I warned Minister of State Noel Ahern that urgent action was needed on cocaine yet nothing has been done.
"In June I called for a specific cocaine and crack cocaine action plan. I want to reiterate that call today. It needs to be given adequate resources and it needs to be treated as a priority by all departments involved its delivery - from Justice to Health to Social and Family Affairs and Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
"I also want to reiterate my call for the Minister for Finance to make a public commitment that he will ensure an adequate injection of resources in supplementary estimates and in Budget 2006 to ensure that all the recommendations in the Drugs Strategy Mid-Term Review can be implemented in full."ENDS