Gary Gannon TD

A health-led, compassionate response to drug addiction is urgently required

Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon has called for a health-led response to drug addiction in Dublin city centre.

Deputy Gannon made his comments after TDs were allowed to make statements about Dublin in the Dáil today.

“Today’s statements must be followed up with decisive action by the Government to tackle the myriad issues facing O’Connell Street and other neglected parts of the city centre.

“There is a growing sense that nobody is charge when it comes to the running of our capital city. A multi-departmental response is required to tackle issues such as homelessness, dereliction, crime and drug addiction.

“A Taoiseach’s taskforce is needed to coordinate a plan with key stakeholders, including Dublin City Council, An Garda Síochána and addiction services.

“When dealing with addiction, the emphasis must be on a health-led response. Gardaí need to engage with drug users on a compassionate basis, as well liaise with groups working at the coalface of addiction, such as the Ana Livia Project.

“Too often, when people talk about the need for a policing solution to drug use, they simply mean displacement. This merry-go-round approach just pushes the problem to other parts of the city before returning to where it started.

“We need to think bigger and be more ambitious for our city’s future. There are 54 TDs representing Dublin and today we had an opportunity to speak up for our city – but words will be meaningless unless they are followed up with effective measures.”

November 17, 2022

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