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Drugs Minister out of synch with communities - Crowe

8 February, 2006

Sinn Féin Tallaght based TD, Seán Crowe has accused the Drugs Minister, Noel Ahern, of being out of synch with communities. Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy Crowe said Dublin and many rural towns and villages are awash with drugs and accused the Minister is lacking an overview of the problem and a strategic plan to sort it out.

Deputy Crowe said, “The loud message that I am receiving is that the natural development of many Drugs Task Force projects is being stymied by the fact that funding has not been made available.  I sit on a drugs task force in my own area, and I am only too aware of the difficulties facing communities on a daily basis.  Dublin is awash with hard drugs, and the same is true of many towns and villages around Ireland.

“Under this Minister we seem to be jumping from crisis to crisis. He appears to have no understanding of the problem, no overview of the problem and no strategic plan to deal with the growing drug crisis.

“The Minister of State takes pride in the amount of people working on projects throughout the state but he fails to understand that many of these projects grew from the failure of the State to respond to emerging drug problem.  There is a strong feeling that the state is failing to support those same communities affected by this crisis. 

“The Minister of State is out of synch with what is occurring regarding the drugs problem in Ireland.  That is why people are mobilising. They are angry and frustrated and beginning to protest at the failure to address the growing crisis. We should be supporting community led projects rather than holding them back.” ENDS

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