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New drugs Minister must reverse funding shortfall from Budget 2007 – Ó Snodaigh

28 June, 2007

Speaking ahead of a conference this morning on cocaine use, which will be addressed by the new Junior Minister with responsibility for Drugs Strategy and Community Affairs Pat Carey, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD called on the new Minister to make a commitment, in his address to the conference, that he will immediately reverse the funding shortfall from Budget 2007 for local drugs services.

Speaking this morning Deputy O Snodaigh said, "Some Local Drugs Task Forces have already exhausted their budgets for 2007. For example, in my own constituency the Local Drugs Task Force's total child care budget for 2007 was fully allocated earlier this year. This money is vital to enable recovering drug addicts undergo rehabilitation including courses that will empower them to find employment and get on with their lives.

"I welcome the long-overdue recognition in the programme for government of cocaine as a problem and the Government's stated commitment to implement the recommendations of the Drug Rehabilitation Working Group. However what we really need to see now is an immediate reversal of the funding shortfall from Budget 2007 for local drugs services and I am calling on the new Junior Minister Pat Carey to make this his first priority.

"It is imperative that the government make additional funding available via the Drugs Task Forces so that all locally identified funding deficits are addressed." ENDS

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