Thursday, 18 February 2021
Covid-19 (Drug and Alcohol Services, and Homelessness): Statements
Frank Feighan (Sligo-Leitrim, Fine Gael)
I thank the Deputy. I had a speech prepared that would have taken 15 or 20 minutes but, as the Deputy very rightly said, I had to remove something because I only had ten minutes. Regarding drug-related intimidation, I am very aware of such activity. An active illicit drug market leads to intimidation and a frightening environment for families and communities. A key action of the national drugs strategy is to strengthen the effectiveness of the drug-related intimidation reporting programme. I will speak about this in the national midterm review. If the Deputy wishes, he is more than welcome to make submissions to the midterm review and I will be happy to meet him because this is a very important issue. The National Family Support Network has funded a drug-related intimidation trainer co-ordinator.
The gardaí are very aware of that. The network has carried out evaluations of the drug-related intimidation programme, which has resulted in a number of improvements in its effectiveness. I look forward to what the Deputy stated.
There are issues with the health diversion programme. We are working with the Department of Justice to implement the programme. It is part of the national drugs strategy and I look forward to phasing it in. On the costs involved, there will be a pilot programme involving five different areas around the country to determine how it works.