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Drug crisis spiralling out of control in Meath - Reilly

9 August, 2006

Meath Sinn Féin Councillor Joe Reilly has said the recent drug seizures in Meath are a reflection of the increase in the scale of the problem. Speaking today Councillor Reilly said Sinn Féin had been in touch with the Gardaí this morning and it is clear that the scale of the problem in Meath is spiralling out of control.

"After speaking with the Gardaí this morning it is obvious that the drug problem in County Meath is spiralling out of control. Drugs seized in Meath this year have already by far exceeded the total amount of drugs seized last year. And, while I congratulate the Gardaí on the recent seizures in Meath, these can only be seen as a reflection of the increase in the scale of the problem.

"The number of guns and ammunition seized in the Navan raids this week is worrying and is further evidence of the direct link between serious gangland crime and the increase in the value of the illegal drugs trade. Therefore, Gardaí will not make any real inroads against serious gangland crime unless the government addresses the broader drugs issue.

"The problem of drugs misuse in our society is a multi faceted problem requiring a multi faceted response from the Government. To that end Sinn Féin recently put forward a comprehensive private members motion in the Dáil that dealt with all aspects of drug misuse -- from the failure of the Health Service Executive to provide harm reduction facilities throughout the State to the emergence of a trade in crack cocaine; from the high levels of crime fuelled by the drugs trade to the issue of rights for grandparents looking after the children of their addict sons and daughters and; from the issue of resources for the Gardaí to resourcing education programmes and campaigns for children and parents. We believe that, had this motion received cross party support, it would have provided the basis for seriously tackling the growing problem of drug misuse that affects all sectors of Irish society.

"Unfortunately the motion was defeated by the Government parties and the crisis continues and gathers pace. The Fianna Fáil/Progressive Democrat Government cannot avoid responsibility for this reality." ENDS

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