Saturday 24 February 2018

Councillor to make complaint over Ming's illegal drug use

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

Fianna Fail councillor John Coonan is writing to gardai about Luke 'Ming' Flanagan.

A GROUP of councillors have said that South-Roscommon TD Luke 'Ming' Flanagan's personal use of a drug was his own business.

Their colleague, Kilkenny councillor John Coonan, is to make a formal complaint to gardai about the new TD, who openly admits smoking cannabis and growing it for personal use.

Mr Flanagan should not be given special treatment -- and he should be dealt with for breaking the law, according to the Fianna Fail councillor.

Mr Coonan -- a former psychiatric nurse -- is writing to gardai and Taoiseach Enda Kenny to express his concerns about Mr Flanagan's use of the drug.

A formal complaint will increase pressure on gardai to investigate Mr Flanagan.

Ten years ago, Mr Flanagan sent 500 cannabis joints to Irish politicians as part of his campaign to legalise the drug.

"I was gobsmacked that I didn't get support. Everybody made the point that Ming is an able and articulate man. That is not the point," said Mr Coonan.

"Gerry Ryan was a fantastic broadcaster but, unfortunately, he is not with us anymore. I'm not comparing Ming to anybody -- but Gerry Ryan is an unfortunate case and point of what illegal drugs can do."

Mr Coonan believes Mr Flanagan is sending out the wrong signal to young people, who will think it is acceptable to use illegal drugs.

"It would be remiss of me if I didn't express, as a public representative and a retired clinical nurse manager, my concern about this," he said.

Mr Flanagan did not return calls from the Irish Independent yesterday.

During a meeting of Kilkenny Borough Council, Mr Coonan said cannabis had "harmful side effects".

He said the same rule of law should apply to Mr Flanagan as to ordinary citizens.

"I know one of the most serious side effects of cannabis is depression. It is illegal for a reason. There are a lot of young people who I have seen suffer because of this drug. There's no such thing as a harmless illegal drug."

Irish Independent

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