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Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Questions on promised legislation [Task Forces].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Questions on promised legislation [Task Forces]. (08 Oct 2020)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2...


Deputy Paul Donnelly ….The programme for Government pledges to support local drug and alcohol task forces to help them identify needs in the community. I was a member of a drugs task force in the very early days and for several periods since then, until quite recently. I remember the exciting days when the community felt its voice was being heard. That has sadly been lost in the past ten years. Can the Tánaiste commit to supporting strong community representation on drug and alcohol task forces and to making statutory engagements obligatory for Departments and agencies? More importantly, can he commit to immediately investing in a new community development initiative to support community participation? The core issue is that we need community representatives who are supported on drug and alcohol task forces in order they can make a real commitment and bring real energy back to the task forces. 

Leo Varadkar, The Tánaiste - Where drug and alcohol task forces work, community representation and involvement makes all the difference. That factor means a task force is not composed of people coming from outside the area and applying a top-down approach. The Deputy is spot on in that regard. I am not across this area in detail any more but I will raise the Deputy's query with the Minister of State, Deputy Feighan. Anything to do with funding is a budgetary matter.

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