[Sinn Fein]

18th June 2002

Government cutbacks will cost lives

The Sinn Fein representative for Dublin South East, Daithí Doolan spoke today in advance of tomorrows march at 2pm from Garden of Remembrance to a rally at Government Buildings Merrion Square at 3pm.

``The drugs crisis still remains a stark reality for many communities across the capital. In our communities we still battle on a daily basis with the causes and the consequences of drug addiction. The incoming government must be made to realise that the problem has far from gone away. We need to ensure that Charlie McCreevys claim that the government need to `manage the public finances' does not translate to cut backs in services that are most important to these same local communites.

This march is a clear message that not only has the problem not gone away, but neither has our commitment to battle it and we are demanding that this government match our committment with a similar commitment not to cut back on the resources we need to see this battle through. In fact rather than cutbacks many of our own communities need further investment to build on the gains we have made in recent years.

It was only through marches like this one in the mid 1990's that the drug issue was put on the political agenda. The time has come once again to take to the streets and demand action before we lose our third generation to the scourge of drug addiction in the nation's capital. It is up to us to put the drugs issue back on the government's agenda again.''

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