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Concern over involvement of young people in criminal activity

11 October, 2006


Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called for measures to prevent children and young people becoming involved in criminal activity. Deputy Ó Snodaigh was speaking in the Dáil today after four males aged between 16 and 19 and two women in their twenties were arrested in Limerick last night in an operation that resulted in the seizure of two handguns and a quantity of ammunition.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "While I welcome the Garda operation in Limerick last night resulting in the seizure of two handguns and a quantity of ammunition it is clear that the Government must channel more resources into operations Anvil and Marigold and other measures to tackle gun and drug crime.

"The young ages of those arrested in Limerick last night, four males aged between 16 and 19 and two women in their twenties, highlights the urgent need for measures to be introduced to prevent children and young people from becoming involved in criminal activities. These measures must include both educational and recreational activities for young people within their communities.

"The reality is that many impressionable young people are looking up to the criminals and drug dealers in their areas with their vast amounts of money and their flash cars. This poses the challenge for community leaders to stand up and become good role models for the children of the area. These can be community workers, football or sports coaches, youth workers or even local Gardaí if they genuinely work in partnership with the community. What is clear is that there is a role for both the communities and the Gardaí in fighting the drug gangs. This must be done on the basis of cooperation and partnership. And the Government must make resources available to ensure this can happen." ENDS

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