Former Sinn Fein Louth TD Gerry Adams and Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú – who is the chair of the Louth Drug & Alcohol Forum – today met with Minister Catherine Byrne, and other local representatives and six drug awareness service providers which cover Louth.
They discussed the government’s lack of adequate funding for the work of these groups and the viability of the services they provide.
The individuals and groups involved are:
· Andy Ogle – Coordinator, North East Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force.
· Tim Murphy Cavan Monaghan Drug Awareness.
· Andrew Jackson – ISPCC Childhood Support Programme.
· Cathy Whelan – Meath Community Drug & Alcohol Response.
· Louise Mahony – The Red Door Project.
· Nicki Jordan – Turas Counselling Services
Speaking after the meeting Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú said:
“The recent savagery and gun attacks in Drogheda are evidence of the level to which drug gangs will stoop.
“The Minister acknowledged at our meeting that front line drug addiction services are inadequately funded.
“Front line staff are under severe pressure. Greater government intervention is needed to secure the future of these projects and to improve their effectiveness in tackling addiction.
“The government has a responsibility to ensure that we have fully resourced policing and that service providers have sustainable funding.”
Gerry Adams said:
“In our discussion with Minister Byrne and her officials we made the case that this is now an emergency and the government needs to deal with it as an emergency. This requires a Minister dealing with this issue sitting at the Cabinet table.
The current situation is untenable. There must be zero tolerance of drug gangs and criminality.
This Fine Gael government has not taken the issue of drug addiction seriously. It has significantly underfunded vital public services for years.”