[Sinn Fein]

25 September 1998

Drugs Court - welcome move

Sinn Fein representative for Tallaght, Seán Crowe has welcomed todays proposal from the Courts Commission Working Group that a Drugs Court is to be established. He said that it will deal more realistically with drug addiction problem in the capital. Crowe described the present system - the sending of young, sick and in many instances vulnerable addicts to Mountjoy Prison as contributing to society's problems.'' It doesn't make any sense'' he claimed ``as Mountjoy was the drugs supermarket of Dublin - where every drug under the sun is available.''

Mr Crowe said:

``Two thirds of all crime in Dublin is said to be drug related, so its vital that the authorities come up with new and constructive ideas for dealing with the capitals growing drug problem. Anti drug activists in the city are increasingly concerned with the effects of crime and addiction on their communities and will welcome any serious overhaul of the courts system. A system which is collapsing under the weight of the current crime wave.

``Any proposals that will seriously break the cycle of people going in and out of jail has to be seen as movement forward. The sending of addicts to Mountjoy Prison, the drugs super market of Dublin, just doesn't make any sense as it only institutionalises young people into a life style that revolves around drugs and crime. With an ever increasing number of addicts in Dublin the authorities need to use all its resources in the fight against the drugs menace. Today's proposals are a step forward.''

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