Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Merchants Quay report contradicts McDowell's evaluation of drugs problem

17 September, 2005


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

Connect with Sinn Féin