Fianna Fáil Dublin Spokesperson Senator Darragh O’Brien has backed calls for a special task force to be set-up in Dublin to co-ordinate the response to the escalating drugs problem in the city.
He commented: “Fianna Fáil is backing calls from the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke, for a specialist task force to be established to tackle the escalating drugs problem in the city which is leading to increased homelessness.
“I listened with interest to the Lord Mayor’s comments on radio today regarding the Taoiseach’s failed promise before the last election to eliminate homelessness by 2016. The Government has also failed to put any flesh on the bones of its lofty 2011 housing strategy. Instead, we have had re-heated policy announcements and a failure to launch capital investment or help voluntary housing associations to finance projects.
“The last time the Taoiseach mentioned homelessness was before the local and European elections but since then he has said nothing and more worryingly has done nothing to tackle this crisis.
“What Dublin needs is a cross community and cross departmental approach to ensure there is a co-ordinated policy across the city. Fianna Fáil is willing to work on this special task force and I am calling on all political parties to do the same.
“In my experience as Chairman of the North Dublin Regional Drugs and Alcohol Task Force I know how successful a co-ordinated approach can be in tackling the scourge of drug abuse and related homelessness.
“We need to provide real solutions to people that are stuck in the spiral of alcohol, drugs and homelessness. Instead of lofty statements, there needs to be tangible action. The first step in this would be the Government establishing the special task force, as called for by the Lord Mayor.
“The drug problems in Dublin city is starting to affect tourism and many people are wary of going into the centre of the city or to the boardwalk area around the quays. Unless there is a concerted effort and a cross party and cross community approach taken to the problem, I fear will only escalate.”