Sinn Féin representative for Lucan and Palmerstown Robert Ballesty has called on South Dublin County Council to immediately take measures to tackle the regular drug dealing and abuse in Ballyowen Park. Robert Ballesty has been contacted by local parents who complained that their children were recently approached by drug users while they were playing in the local park. On further inspection Ballesty discovered that the area behind the changing facilities for football teams using the park, is littered with drug paraphernalia
He said, "Having been contacted by concerned parents in the area I visited the park with one of the parents and found the area littered with tinfoil, syringes and crack pipes. There was also a tent that the drug users use to sleep off their 'fix'.
"I have contacted South Dublin County Council and asked them to immediately clean the area around the changing facilities in Ballyowen Park, and to clear some of the bushes and undergrowth away, as this has become a haven for drug users.
"This park is used by families and young people playing football, it isused by many residents in nearby estates as a shortcut and for peopleout walking. I am also calling on South Dublin County Council to install adequate lighting in the park, to ensure the safety of the residents who use it once darkness falls.
"This park is just 400 metres from a Garda Station. I have called in to see them, showed them the photographic evidence from the park and put them on alert to the situation. It is imperative that they act to stem this problem with extra patrols in the park.
"Last week I welcomed an announcement by John Curran the Minister of State, on the roll out of the 'Dial to Stop Drug Dealing' scheme. Sinn Féin had been asking for this scheme to be extended across the state for some time now and we are glad that the government has eventually agreed to our demand. What we need now is action not words. We need to move more Gardaí out from behind desks and into their communities, where they belong.
"Funding must also be increased for drug treatment and rehabilitation. The numbers of people presenting for help with drug addiction is at record levels. This is particularly so in the case of heroin addiction. The current economic slowdown must not be used as an excuse to cut funds for drug treatment and rehabilitation.
"Proper investment in all five pillars of the national drugs strategy will have a significantly positive impact in the community in the longer term. Anyone seeking help to come off drugs must be provided with the proper facilities to do so, not just for their own sake but for the sake of the wider community."