Cork Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer, the party’s Seanad Spokesperson on Drugs, has said figures showing drugs are still rife in prisons, reflect a failure on the part of the Fianna Fáil Government to tackle the problems besetting Irish prisons. Senator Buttimer was responding to a statement made by Deputy Michael McGrath today.
“The revelation that there were 1,100 drug seizures in 11 prisons over the course of last year is disturbing but unfortunately not surprising. What these figures are showing is the failure of the Fianna Fáil Government to show leadership in thwarting the increase in drugs in prisons. Minister Dermot Ahern must commit himself to addressing these issues.
“Prison officers’ hands are tied by pay cuts, reductions in overtime and reductions in rehabilitation services. As Fine Gael and our Justice Spokesperson, Charlie Flanagan TD have been saying all along the Government
urgently needs a new approach to prison policy.
“What Deputy McGrath is neglecting to acknowledge is that under Fianna Fáil and in particular since Dermot Ahern has been Minister the problems afflicting the prison system, such as overcrowding and drug abuse, have only gotten worse.
“It is easy to enough to talk about the problems but what is needed is action from the Government and from Deputy McGrath’s party. What Irish prisons require is better screening procedures, drug-free landings and far more drug rehabilitation programmes.”