Government response to criminal violence in Louth "not good enough" - Gerry Adams TD
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the government’s response to the escalating criminal violence in Louth as “not good enough”. The Louth TD was speaking in the Dáil today on the recent violence in Drogheda and Dundalk related to drug crime.
Teachta Adams accused the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan of failing to answer pertinent questions relating to the resourcing of the Gardaí in Louth and for local community youth diversionary projects.
Teachta Adams said:
“Incidents of drug related crime in Dundalk and Drogheda have escalated to an intolerable level. Since I was first elected as a TD I and other Sinn Féin representatives have worked closely with An Garda Síochána.
Those who are the target of such attacks are victim of unscrupulous and dangerous drug pushers who are targeting them for drug debts that are not theirs. In one particular case one family had eleven thousand euro demanded from it.
I wrote to the Minister about this. I also spoke to senior Garda about this. In his response the Minister said that An Garda Síochána was reviewing its ‘Drug Related Intimidation Reporting Programme’.
When I asked the Minister to tell us if that review is complete he refused to respond. I told him that was not good enough.
When I asked the Minister if he accepted that additional resources are needed for projects like the Garda Youth Diversionary Projects; High Voltage and Team in Dundalk, the Boyne and Cable in Drogheda, and the Family Resource Network, he refused to respond. I told him that was not good enough.
According to a PQ response I received in the summer there are currently only 5 Community Gardaí in Drogheda and 6 in Dundalk. That figure has not increased since 2013. This too is not good enough.
And the vacancy for a junior liaison officer in Dundalk has not been filled. This is not good enough.
An Garda Síochána deserves our fullest support and Sinn Féin will continue to seek from the Minister the additional resources that are needed including the creation of a specialised drugs unit for Louth, which the Justice Minister has previously promised.”