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Wake up to drugs ‘scourge’

A CIRCUIT Court judge has said it is “high time we wake up to the seriousness of drugs” and hit out at the lack of services being provided to deal with this “scourge” in society.

Judge Gerald Keys highlighted the dire need for drug rehabilitation clinics to be established, warning that in the absence of these services the problem will only get worse.

Speaking in the case of a Clare drug dealer caught with more than €15,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis, Judge Keys said, “It’s high time we wake up to the seriousness of drugs, it’s at a level that is destroying our society”.

“No new clinics have been resourced to deal with drug addiction and without it, the number of drug cases will increase”.

In his judgement in the case on Tuesday, Judge Keys said he was “blue in the face” from highlighting this matter. He reiterated what he is now known for saying at each of these cases that “the number of drugs cases coming before the courts is increasing at an alarming rate”.

“They are the scourge of our society and particularly among young people.”

He highlighted that, typically in his court, anyone who is found to engage in drug-dealing will not be treated lightly and can expect to get a custodial sentence, unless in exceptional cases.

He did not impose a custodial sentence in this instance, as he said the individual is making a genuine effort to rehabilitate himself. Credit was given to the accused because he is doing this, as Judge Keys put it, “where there is a complete lack of clinics and services available”.

By Carol Byrne

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