OPEN drug dealing and drug debt intimidation have reached “crisis point” across Dublin, TDs have warned.
A Dail debate on the issue heard that communities are ravaged – and crack cocaine use is on the rise.
Sinn Fein TD Sean Crowe said residents in parts of Tallaght are now living in fear as a result.
He said: “No one should be subjected to fear and intimidation just to go to their local shop to buy a pint of milk and having to go past a gang of drug dealers.”
Deputy Crowe also claimed mothers were having their children’s allowance books withheld by dealers – who only hand them over on payment day so they can get the cash to clear a loved one’s debt.
Last week community drug workers in south Dublin revealed that some women struggling with crack cocaine addiction are prostituting themselves to pay off drug debts.
Deputy Crowe said the Government’s approach to the problem is not working and the argument that Garda seizures and arrests are up makes no difference to those living in misery because of drugs.
He said: “It’s not a success for a community if they’re still suffering every day of the week – and that is what my community is saying. We are witnessing open drug dealing… people trying to get support have to run the gauntlet of drug dealers.
“People should be able to go to their local medical centre without having to witness drug dealers buying or selling drug prescription from patients leaving the doctor’s surgery.
“My constituents should be able to go to their local post office without having to witness local drug dealers handing out children allowance books to mothers whose family are in a drug debt.
“Children should be able to go school without having to witness drug dealing and drug deals going down at their school gates but this happening.
“Residents who are lucky to have a garden should be able sit out without witnessing open drug dealing, cars arriving day and night, constant traffic in and out of drug houses.”
In February €1.9m was allocated to Tallaght drug services to deal with the crack cocaine epidemic – amid calls for more funding to fight the rise of the deadly drug.
Deputy Crowe concluded: “The approach has to change. We need far more substantial support from Government for local drugs taskforces and a new approach to policing, because our efforts so far just aren’t working.”