Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice and Equality, Deputy Jim O’Callaghan has expressed his alarm and anger at a new report into drug dealing and organised crime in Dublin’s south inner city.

The report, entitled ‘Building Community Resilience has found that children as young as 12 are being used by gangs in the south inner city. The research was carried out by Dr Johnny Connolly from the University of Limerick Centre of Crime, Justice and Victim Studies.

Deputy O’Callaghan said: “This report has found that children as young as 12 years of age are being groomed into gangs in the south inner city. It makes for disturbing reading. Our children and our communities are being failed.

“Fianna Fáil has prepared draft legislation to help put an end to the abuse of children in the distribution of drugs. If passed the bill would make it an aggravated offence to use children in the supply or purchase of illegal drugs and it would be an important weapon in the battle against these gangs.

“We are calling on all parties in Dáil Éireann to put politics to one side, to wake up to the abuse of children that is ongoing by these gangs and to get behind this Bill,” concluded Deputy O’Callaghan.