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Home > Seanad Eireann debate - Crime policy: motion.

[Oireachtas] Seanad Eireann debate - Crime policy: motion. (02 Oct 2019)

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Senator Robbie Gallagher: I move


“That Seanad Éireann:




- the increased presence of organised criminal gangs operating throughout the State;


- the fear that exists in local communities as a result of the increased prevalence of organised crime and criminal gangs in the State;


- the increased prevalence of drug use and drug related crime across the country;


- the impact of increased drug use and drug related crime on communities;


- the terrible legacy and continued existence of criminality in the border region;


- the continued existence of illicit trade between border counties and Northern Ireland;


- the prolonged thuggery that was allowed to carry on in County Cavan;


- the fear that exists in communities in border counties as a result of increased criminal activity;


- the unprecedented increase in the requirement to deploy armed Gardaí to different communities that would never previously have had a need for armed Gardaí;


- the absence of any garda stations in large areas of rural communities and the impact these closures have had on communities;


- the failure of the Government to respond adequately and in a timely manner to the need for extra and more visible gardaí on the ground;




- the support that exists for An Garda Síochána and the fight against crime;


- the success of An Garda Síochána in fighting certain types of crime provided they are given political priority by Government;


- the work of the Armed Support Units;


- the work of the Criminal Assets Bureau; and


calls for:


- the establishment of a statutory cross-border multidisciplinary agency to target criminal activity at the border region;


- the formulation of an effective strategy to combat the worsening drugs crises;


- increased surveillance of drug distribution networks and legislative changes to facilitate action against those who are using children as part of those networks;


- the provision of increased numbers of Drugs Task Forces;


- budget provision that will enable the Gardaí to implement targeted intelligence driven operations against organised crime, gangland murders, drug trafficking and other criminal activity;


- the promotion of a community-based policing strategy to address the underlying causes of crime and to provide reassurance to communities experiencing the fear of crime, particularly in rural communities.”


I welcome the Minister to the House. I acknowledge the presence of Councillor John O'Leary along with his friend from Waterford, and welcome them to the Chamber.


There is an escalating crime problem with gangs of organised criminals, once the preserve of the cities, now operating in towns never before affected by such criminality. Increased drug use and drug-related crime is impacting on every town. Armed support units are now being deployed with increased frequency. People and communities are living in fear.


Fianna Fáil recognises the success of An Garda Síochána in fighting certain types of crime, provided they are given political priority by Government. The Government has become complacent and we hope this motion and the ensuing debate will help to counteract it. The increased presence of organised criminal gangs operating throughout the county is concerning. Organised crime and gangland violence were once the preserve of the cities but this is no longer the case. Longford, Drogheda and, most recently, my constituency of Cavan-Monaghan were all affected. While many of these gangs have links to the drugs community in which they are carrying out these attacks, they do not fear law enforcement. The use of guns is sending shock waves through communities and many attacks taking place in settled residential areas often happen in broad daylight. Too many lives have been lost.


A study from the European monitoring centre for drugs and drug addiction reported at the beginning of the summer that cocaine use in Ireland is now the third highest in Europe. According to the most recent statistics from the Central Statistics Office, CSO, there has been a 16.5% increase in recorded incidence of drug offences compared with the same period last year. Fianna Fail is calling on Government to establish a national drugs education and awareness campaign. It is vitally important that happens immediately. People taking drugs must understand the connection between their actions and organised crime.


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