[Sinn Fein]

19 May 1998

Shooting of activist `a worrying development'

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP was in Dublin today to visit party representative and anti-drugs activist Larry O'Toole who was shot at the weekend.

Mr. Adams said:

``Last weekend's shooting of Larry and his son Lar was a worrying development. Larry is a Sinn Fein representative and a prominent anti-drugs activist. Many would say that this shooting is the inevitable consequence of putting communities activists in the front line in the fight against drug dealers and drug abuse. Community activists have often stood alone against repeated intimidation from drug dealers.

``Sinn Fein activists are involved in campaigns against drug abuse because they live in communities which are contaminated by drugs. On a number of occasions I have been moved by the compassion and the emotion which I have seen from Dublin Sinn Fein members on this issue. This is because they see their children and their children's children and their neighbours being gripped by all of this.

``The challenge now is not for our activists but for the government. They must put together an integrated strategy which helps the addicts and which tries to put forward proper remedial treatment and facilities for them. They must really tackle drug dealers in our communities. Larry O'Toole has been an example to many of us over the years and Dublin Sinn Fein activists will take their lead from him.''

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