Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central Jonathan O’Brien has today raised the issue of the ever-growing problem of heroin in Cork City with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
Speaking at Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil this afternoon, Teachta O’Brien said that the Gardaí need to be provided with additional resources to fight heroin supply gangs and that those suffering with addiction need better supports.
Deputy O’Brien said:
“The Garda Representative Association has said in recent days that the people of Cork City are not getting the policing service they deserve because there is a shortage of 125 frontline Gardaí. That meant that just two guards were patrolling the city centre on a Saturday night in recent months. That is completely unacceptable. “Cork City is the second largest city in this State and it needs its fair share of recruits from Templemore. That has not been happening.
“This is going on while the HSE have told me that they have the capacity and the finances to do more for those suffering with addiction – and I acknowledge funding has increased in recent years – but the Department won’t sign off on new posts. Addiction is a health issue and it deserves to be treated as such.”
Speaking after the exchange in the Dáil, Deputy O’Brien added;
“It is as simple as this – Cork is at the precipice when it comes to heroin use. The situation is already very bad but you cannot put the dealers out of business if you are not going to act. We need to hit the dealers now and hit them hard.
“A message needs to go out loudly and clearly – if you are involved in the supply of drugs you will be stopped and you will go to jail for a very long time. We break the heroin supply chain in Cork by breaking it at the source.”