BROUGHAN CALLS FOR RESTORATION OF FUNDING TO DRUGS AND ALCOHOL TASK FORCES

Today, Deputy Broughan spoke on the motion on Local Drugs and Alcohol Task Forces (LDATFs) which was brought forward by his colleague, Deputy Joan Collins and which he co-signed.  The motion calls for the implementation of the commitment in the Programme for Government to allocate an emerging needs fund; the commitment to urgently implement the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018; and the acceleration of the work of Garda Asset Profilers.  Today’s motion also called on the Government to ensure a partnership approach to the new youth scheme and to conclude the HSE Review of Drugs and Alcohol Task Forces amongst some other measures.

There were welcome Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin amendments to the motion also, in particular an amendment calling for Minister Catherine Byrne, the Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, to appear before the Health Committee to report on the progress of the implementation of the Government’s own strategy – “Reducing Harm Supporting Recovery – A health-led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017-2025”.

There are 14 Local Drugs and Alcohol Task Forces (LDATFs) (12 in the Dublin area, 1 in Bray and 1 in Cork city) and 10 Regional Drugs and Alcohol Task Forces (RDATFs) and a number of organisations receive funding from the Dublin North East Task Force in Deputy Broughan’s constituency of Dublin Bay North.  Funding is down around 37% from pre-crash levels and no additional funding was made available to Task Forces after alcohol was added to their remit.  There were a number of years with no funding restorations and in 2018, the HSE received €6.5m but that none of this was distributed amongst the Task Forces.

Deputy Broughan says “In my own constituency of Dublin Bay North, I am aware of the excellent work of the Kilbarrack Coast Community Programme (KCCP), the Dales Centre in Darndale, RASP (RASP (Laneview Learning Centre) Ltd), EDIT (Edenmore Drug Intervention Team (EDIT)) and indeed other anti-drug and alcohol organisations in various parishes in the North East.  The work of these organisations on the ground is vital in helping people and families affected by drug and alcohol addiction.  Another area of important work of the Task Forces is monitoring instances of drug-related intimidation, which we know is increasing in regularity and intensity.   Our communities must be safe and therefore the organisations trying to make that happen must be funded effectively.”