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Drama highlights drugs scourge

Sir -- I think RTE's crime drama, Love/Hate, captures well the sordid, self-destructive nature of Ireland's gangland scene. It shows that crime really doesn't pay, and that the supposed "glamour" associated with gangland figures is illusory.

But it also serves as a powerful reminder of the fact that there is an even greater threat to the lives and well-being of so many people in this country, other than the economic recession and the fall-out from the banking scandals. For although the state of the public finances may be dominating news headlines, we can't afford to ignore the activities of the drug gangs that are luring increasing numbers of people, including children, into the horrors of narcotic addiction, who kill rivals, tear innocent families apart and destroy whole communities with breezy nonchalance.

In my own town, as in so many parts of Ireland, drugs are becoming a problem that community leaders are doing their best to counteract. But they have a real task on their hands.

Watching the first episode of the TV series, it occurs to me that many viewers will have found its gritty realism disturbing. However, I suggest that a more apt response to the issues raised by Love/Hate would be a determination to do something, anything, to strike a blow against the drug gangs.

I have no fancy or terribly original ideas about how to do that, just this suggestion: Most of us carry mobile phones. Let's all key in the Garda Confidential phone number (1 800 666 111) and, next time, we notice or become aware of any information that might lead to the solving of any drugs related crime or activity, without hesitation, dial that number. It involves merely speaking into a voice recorder and every call is treated in the strictest of confidence.

I honestly believe that this simple act could save a life or put a dent, however small, in the vast criminal enterprise that thrives on, and profits from, the direst of human misery. It would, at the very least, make the caller feel good about him or her self. And can't we all do with a lift right now?

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