THERE is no doubt that Dublin is the grip of a serious street drug epidemic – one which in many ways rivals the notorious heroin crisis of the 1980s.
Anybody walking the streets of the city centre, night or day, will witness open drug sales and even drug use. This occurs on streets, in parks, along the Liffey Boardwalk and on public transport.
From time to time garda sweeps will clear one area, only for drug users to decamp to another. It’s clear that the present system of dealing with this crisis has utterly failed.
New ideas are needed and the people whose opinions should be listened to are those who deal with the problem directly – groups such as the Ana Liffey Drug Treatment centre.
It has proposed setting up a dedicated injection centre for addicts, which would take much of the problem off the streets. Minister for Drugs Aodhan O Riordain is in favour.
This idea could work and should be given a chance. Anything is better than the status quo.
COULD we see checkpoints at the Border again in the coming years?
That’s one scenario that could result from today’s UK general election.
If David Cameron’s Conservative party retain power, he has promised a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU by 2017.
If this occurs and voters elect to leave, it would have serious effects on the Irish economy. Earlier this week an ESRI official warned of the “significant consequences” of a so-called ‘Brexit’.
We export 16pc of our goods and 19pc of our services to the UK – services which would be hit by customs duties should Britain leave the EU.
A physical manifestation of this would be the re-erection of customs posts between Dundalk and Newry. The coming 24 hours across the water could have a long-lasting effect.