24 July 2008 Edition

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Call for urgent action to stem influx of crystal meth

Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

A MAN was arrested this week in connection with the biggest ever seizure of the highly-addictive synthetic drug crystal meth.
Gardaí and customs officers investigating the activities of an eastern European drugs cartel found some six kilogrammes of the dangerous drug in an operation in County Offaly. The drug, the official name of which is methamphetamine, has previously only ever been found in Ireland in very small quantities.
A 32-year-old who was arrested at the scene under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act was released late on Tuesday night.
Responding to the record crystal meth seizure, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said the new National Drugs Strategy, which is currently being drafted, must include measures to pre-empt the influx of this type of drug into the country and an awareness programme of the very dangerous effects of the drug.
Ó Snodaigh also welcomed the conviction of three men in relation to the record seizure of cocaine off the coast of Cork last year.
“Sinn Féin has been warning for some time of the threat of crystal meth to communities in Ireland and of the very real possibility of this drugs establishing a foothold in Ireland”, Ó Snodaigh said.
“Monday’s record seizure of six kilos of methamphetamine in County Offaly confirms that our concerns were justified. It is now essential that the Government does not repeat the mistakes of the past when it ignored warnings of a possible outbreak of the heroin epidemic to the detriment of local communities. The Minister must heed the warning of international trends and take strong action now”, said the TD for Dublin South Central.
“Firm action is required to stem the outbreak of crystal meth in Ireland. Crystal meth is known to be available in Ireland’s cities, towns and even rural settings already. There have been consistent seizures of it here since 2004 and the quantities seized, although considered relatively small, are rising. And it may have already cost young lives. The consequences of crystal meth can be aggression, psychosis, addiction, abscesses, liver or kidney disease.
“This drug is highly addictive and if it gets a foothold in Ireland it will have a seriously detrimental impact on the safety of our communities.
“The next National Drugs Strategy from 2009 to 2016 must include an awareness campaign to warn people of the dangers of these drugs along with measures to pre-empt their influx into the country.
“I also want to welcome the convictions yesterday of three men on charges relating to the record seizure of €440 million of cocaine off the coast of Cork. I congratulate those Gardaí and custom officers involved”, he said.

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