Deputy Fergus O'Dowd.
A report similar to the one commissioned on Dublin’s North East Inner City is now required to address the issues of criminality, drugs abuse and depravation in Drogheda.
That’s according to Fine Gael TD for Louth Fergus O’Dowd, who this week organised a meeting between Minister with Responsibility for Drugs Strategy Catherine Byrne TD, and a group of frontline service and addiction workers from Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan.
The meeting, which was also attended by the HSE, was convened to address how best to assist communities affected by drugs use and depravation.
Mr O’Dowd said he believes the community services who were represented at the meeting are playing a vital role in filling the gaps currently not met by the public system.
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“The most recent brutal criminality that enveloped in Drogheda has laid bare the stark reality in the need for a much more focused plan to support communities that are enveloped by addiction issues,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“I want to convey my sympathies to the family of Keane Mulready-Woods. He was only 17 years old and the circumstances of his appalling abduction and murder are truly shocking.”
“I have in the past raised on the public record the prospect of commissioning a report similar to the one commissioned on Dublin’s North East Inner City. I now believe this is required more than ever for Drogheda.”
The General Election candidate added: “Drogheda requires a full outreach team to effectively manage the most affected communities. The HSE outlined that the investment in the new Addiction centre on the Donore Rd is part of their strategy to direct monies back into the public system.
“I welcome the fact that at the meeting on Wednesday, the HSE committed to expanding their pilot program on dealing with drug intimidation issues. They also committed to commencing regular meetings with the volunteer agencies.
“But there does need be more joined up thinking. A report similar to the one committed in the North East Inner City would be a hugely important step in the addressing the serious challenges facing us.”