asked the Minister for Justice whether his Department are aware of any significant increase in the number of court appearances involving convictions dealing with drug offences in view of the increase in the number of reports of such appearances; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Drug Offences.
Up to September last year, there were very few prosecutions and, such as there were, attracted little publicity. Since then 45 persons have been charged, some of them more than once, with offences related to drugs; 16 of these cases are still pending. In all but one case so far dealt with, the charges were proved. About half the offences were offences such as stealing drugs or peddling them: no inference could be drawn that the persons were themselves using drugs.
As I have explained here, more than once, in reply to previous questions on the subject, the problem of drug-taking is primarily one for the Minister for Health.
Is the Minister aware of any report suggesting that in certain beat clubs in the city drugs are being freely peddled in an attempt to get young people involved in this terrible traffic? Is he aware there are reports circulating that this is, in fact, happening?
I have seen allegations of this kind. I have no proof that this is, in fact, so although it could, of course, happen in some isolated cases.