Yesterday, I raised the serious incident arising from an alleged paedophile ring in Dublin. Today, I wish to refer again to an issue affecting our young people. We have known for a long time that young teenagers are regularly getting hammered on drink. We know now from a report being published today that they are also getting high on drugs. This report is aptly called, The State of the Nation's Children — I emphasise the word "children". The report shows that four out of ten children under 15 years of age have sampled drugs. That makes us number three in the world for trying out drugs. When it comes to girls, tragically, we are number one in the world for trying out drugs. That is an 8% increase in eight years.
When I raised the issue of drugs a fortnight ago, the Taoiseach stated: "I do not believe we should say... there are serious drug problems in every village, community and locality because that is not the case". Fr. McVerry rightly pointed out drugs are apparently available within five minutes of any location. We know the duties of parental responsibility include that parents know where their children are at any time and who they are with, but today's report is a damning indictment of the state of society in so far as young teenage boys and girls are concerned.