The Tallaght Drugs and Alcohol Task Force (TDATF) commissioned and published a report entitled, 'The Landscape of Substance Misuse and its Impact on the Communities of Tallaght’s Drugs and Alcohol Task Force'
The report provides for a stark read on the gravity and prevalence of crack cocaine in Tallaght, the intergenerational impact it has on the local community, and the critical need for support for the local task forces who are on the frontline of this epidemic providing services to assist in recovery.
For a summary on the key findings and recommendations of the report: https://tallaghtdatf.ie/2021/11/08/urgent-need-for-more-funding/
Following the recession, the funding allocated a the task force as significantly cut and never reinstated. Due to increasing demand of services with a 75% increase in drug-related crime in Tallaght since 2018, the task forces are under pressure to provide more services, while under-resourced and underfunded.
The findings and recommendations of the report were raised in the Dáil to the Department of Health by Francis Noel Duffy TD and his constituency colleagues in order to urge the Minister to allocate the €1 million funding needed for the task force to continue and sustain their projects. Deputy Duffy also highlighted the need for increased Garda presence in the area.
Minister, the crack cocaine epidemic in Tallaght is intensifying with more open-drug dealing in public spaces, increased violence, drug-related intimidation, and sophisticated marketing techniques by drug dealers to ensnare users.
Consequently, the demand for services is increasing, and while the local task forces are working on the frontline providing the critically needed services and projects, they are chronically underfunded and under-resourced, which has impacted the longevity of projects, the number of staff they can retain full-time and ultimately, the level of services they can provide.
If the Government is serious – which I have no doubt they are - about tackling this issue that is destroying communities and families in Tallaght and Whitechurch, we need to ensure that the €1 million funding is allocated as soon as possible as indicated by the report published yesterday by the Tallaght drugs and alcohol task force
It should be noted that the funding cut in the recession has not been reestablished. The population, as the other Deputies have said, has increased and the State coffers have grown by 50% since 2008
Furthermore, we know there has been a 75% increase in drug related crime in Tallaght since 2018 but the area has the joint lowest number of Gardai per head of population in the Dublin region.
Budget 2022 commits to recruiting 800 new Gardaí – in delivering this, we need to ensure that Gardaí are allocated in the areas most needed, such as Tallaght.
Minister, I’d appreciate it if you can give a commitment, and the Department and Minister Feighan to allocate the €1M funding to local task forces in Tallaght as soon as possible, and to increase the number of Gardaí in the area.