Pubdate: Fri, 06 May 2016
Source: Irish Times, The (Ireland)
Copyright: 2016 The Irish Times
Author: Marie O'Halloran


The way to deal with drugs gangs is through their bank accounts by 
legalising certain drugs, Independents 4 Change TD Clare Daly told the Dail.

During a debate on criminal gangs following the feud in Dublin in 
which seven people have been killed, she said there were "massive 
profits in the drug trade as a result of our policy of prohibition".

The Dublin Fingal TD said legalising cannabis would develop a revenue 
stream for the State and would also be a "lucrative first step into 
the profits of many of these gangs. If we really want to deal with 
them, we must deal with them through their bank accounts."

She said it was almost unbelievable that in the last Dail, only eight 
TDs voted to legalise cannabis.

Opening the debate, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald insisted 
that "however long it takes, and whatever resources are necessary, 
the State will take all measures open to it to bear down on the 
deadly activities of gangs".

Ms Fitzgerald insisted "there is absolutely no question of any 
reduction in the resources or overtime being made available to gardai 
to counteract gang-related crime".

Describing the "evil and sinister" cycle of gangland violence in 
Dublin as shocking and disturbing, Ms Fitzgerald said the "loss of 
life, including the life of those who played no part in gang-related 
feuds, is intolerable".

The Minister pointed out that before the current spate of violence, 
gang-related murders had fallen from 17 in 2010 to three last year 
and the overall murder rate was down 43 per cent in the same period.

Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the Government needed 
to operate a taskforce approach to the north inner city and called on 
the Minister draw up a specific Garda resource plan for this part of Dublin.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom