Friday 19 January 2018

Calls for task force to tackle city drugs scourge

Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

TACKLING the drugs problem in Dublin's city centre will require a unified approach by all concerned parties, according to the city's Lord Mayor.

Christy Burke said the twin problems of addiction and homelessness should be part of a unified approach "under the one umbrella."

He said a task force made up of community and government representatives, led by either the Taoiseach or the Tanaiste, should be created. And he stressed it should include people with first-hand knowledge.

The Lord Mayor was referring to recent reports which highlighted not only the problem of visible drug abuse, but also begging on a significant scale, in the O'Connell Street area. He said the problem of individuals dealing drugs openly on the streets of Dublin "cannot be tolerated", but there is an issue in getting it up the political priority list.

"Rehabilitation is the answer; the problem can be arrested," he said.

His call has been supported by Fianna Fail Senator Darragh O'Brien, who said drug taking in the heart of the capital has started to impact on tourism.

A spokesman for the Taoiseach told the Irish Independent the Lord Mayor's proposal will be considered should Mr Burke make a formal proposal to the relevant Department.

Irish Independent

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