Fianna Fáil TD Shane Cassells has asked the Taoiseach to provide reassurance that an organisation closely linked with the secretive cult-like Church of Scientology will not be facilitated in setting up operations in a rural village in Meath.

Deputy Cassells made comments after raising the issue directly with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dáil Éireann earlier today.

Deputy Cassells said, “Narconon, which is indistinguishable from the Church of Scientology, is attempting to setup operations in Ballivor under the guise of a drugs rehabilitation project. The so called rehabilitation programmes run by the Church of Scientology and its affiliated organisations have been widely discredited. They are used as a front to indoctrinate vulnerable people, usually young men, into following the whacky teachings of the self-labelled ‘Church’.

“The people of Ballivor don’t want anything to do with Narconon or the shady organisation that backs them. I raised this issue in the Dáil with the Taoiseach earlier today and sought reassurance that the Government will support the local community. I was encouraged by the Taoiseach’s reply that those offering drugs rehabilitation services must be medically trained and have relevant clinical experience. This is a view that I support.

“The Church of Scientology have been attempting to intensify their operations in Ireland. This is a shady cult which has been involved in numerous scandals, including one of the largest infiltrations of the United States Government with the aim of purging unfavourable records relating to the organisation. Many former members of the organisation have spoken out about it’s cult-like activities and how they were viciously targeted by operatives linked to the Church following their departure.

“We do not want the Church of Scientology, or any front organisation linked to it, operating in our community. I’m calling on people to come out and support the protest due to be held in Ballivor tomorrow afternoon,” concluded Deputy Cassells.