Sinn Fein Councillor John Brady has sharply critised comments made by Fine Gael Councillor Mick Glynn in relation to the discovery and removal of syringes and other drug paraphernalia from a housing estate in Bray.
Speaking in reaction to Councillor Glynn’s comments the Sinn Féin Councillor said “I am astonished at the extraordinary attack on me and the constituents that contacted me in relation to the drug materials that had been discovered in their housing estate. I think this is a very stupid attempt to distract people from the serious issue of drugs and boarded up houses that I have highlighted. Unfortunately the discovery of syringes and other drug paraphernalia around the town is a regular occurrence and to stick ones head in the sand and to wish them away is irresponsible and naive. I think Mick Glynn should climb down out of his little utopia and step into the real world where these issues are a cause of huge concern. Highlighting this issue is not about giving Bray a bad name or anything like that, it’s about raising the issue as a cause of concern that’s unfortunately replicated in cities, towns and villages right across the Country and putting it on the political agenda”.
Brady continued “Unfortunately drug abuse is on the increase and many experts put this down to the economic recession and austerity policies implemented by the Fine Gael, Labour government which hit ordinary people the hardest. I would like to invite Cllr Glynn to meet some of these many people that reside in our town and to come into some of the estates that maybe he isn't too familiar with and to witness and listen to some of the real issues that exist outside his utopia”.
“I bow to Councillor Glynn’s superior knowledge of syringes and other drug materials; I have never claimed to be an expert on them, however I do know the potential risks of them lying in a housing estate. Even with lids on syringes they still pose a serious risk to the many children playing in the area where they were discovered. However there were also syringes with no lids on them along with tablets all of which were handed into the Garda station. Again maybe Councillor Glynn should have inspected the materials in the Garda station before making wild accusations”. Brady continued
Councillor Brady went on to say “Drug abuse and addiction is a real issue and unfortunately I know many people, some of them friends that I would have grown up with that have become addicted to heroin, some have managed to overcome their addictions however unfortunately some others lost their lives to it. There are many people in Bray and right across Wicklow with addictions to other drugs also such as cocaine and this is also creating difficulties that need to be addressed”.
“The extent of the current drugs crisis needs to be put back on the political agenda. Communities are now coping with an increasingly complex and chaotic drug problem that includes a mix of legal drugs, illegal drugs and alcohol. Within this mix, there are different patterns of drug use in different areas and for different age groups but there are one common thread – the enduring link between disadvantage and serious community drug problems. Councillor Glynn would be better served in dealing with the issue of the 37% reduction in the Drug Initiatives Budget between 2008 and 2014 by his political party and others. This level of cuts has also meant that actions previously agreed with Government, as part of the National Drugs Strategy are under serious threat”.
Brady said “For any public representative to attack part of their community is very sad, so Councillor Glynn’s attack on the very communities that are dealing with these problems is disgraceful especially from someone that claims to represent them. Excellent work goes on by the local Bray Drugs Task Force and the Community Addiction Teams and also within these estates. However for Councillor Glynn to say that the residents that notified me of the drug material in their area are liars and part of a pre-election stunt or some big conspiracy is bizarre, twisted and a total dismissal of the issues affecting the ordinary and real people of this town”.
He concluded by saying “I also find it astonishing that a week after the discovery the council has found the time to issue a statement raising concerns about my safety removing the syringes. I think the official’s time would be better served in responding to the concerns of the public in a timely manner and to deal with the boarded up houses, the dumping and the syringes that had been disposed of in the area then nobody would have to do it themselves”.