Last week’s grotesque discoveries, a casual murder at a student party and several crime-related shootings, must finally disabuse Ireland of the of the notion that this is an idyllic backwater immune to drug-related crime or violence.
Those harrowing reality checks, however, seem to almost pale, albeit it on a different plane, when set against the report that teenagers budget for cocaine along with a dress or suit for their end-of-school balls.
Addiction therapist Michael Guerin of addiction charity Cuan Mhuire also warned that drug dealers get children hooked on cocaine to exploit them as distributors.
Guerin’s warning came as a Health Research Board report showed a 50% surge in the number of people seeking treatment for cocaine — the largest increase in seven years. Last week’s discoveries provoked predictable suggestions around jail terms and capital punishment. Driving cocaine dealers out of our school culture will require something far more subtle but every bit as forceful. But first, a question for all parents: How can your schoolchildren afford cocaine?