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Health Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (563)

Neasa Hourigan


563. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Health if his Department will allow the North Inner-City Drug and Alcohol Task Force to proceed with the appointment of its elected chair and to go ahead with organising meetings attended by all its members, including statutory representatives in order that it can carry out its essential work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61205/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Department of Health has engaged with the task force on the appointment of an independent chairperson to drive the work of the task force and to broaden the membership of the task force to include all local stakeholders, in line with the official task force handbook.

The Department supports the autonomy of the task force to appoint its chairperson and believes the collective membership is the appropriate entity to appoint a chairperson, on a consensual basis. It is important that the membership of the task force is afforded the opportunity to decide how it wishes to proceed on the appointment of an independent chairperson.

The Dept urged the outgoing chair to engage with all members of the task force - community, voluntary and statutory – to consider these matters on a consensual basis. Unfortunately, the task force leadership and members have not been able to resolve the impasse in the appointment of an independent chairperson of the task force.

The Department is aware that the North Inner City Drugs & Alcohol Task Force is no longer in a position to function, following the resignation of the chairperson and company directors.

I am committed to working with all stakeholders in the north inner city to establish effective, inclusive and transparent governance of the task force and of the funding that it allocates.

My officials are currently engaged in a consultation process with stakeholders on a process to re-establish the task force. I expect to shortly receive a report that sets out the next steps in re-establishing the task force.