Drugs trade - Home truths spelled out

Not before time, some home truths about Ireland’s flourishing drugs trade were spelled out yesterday at the MacGill summer school in Donegal by a man who knows what he’s talking about, Inspector of Prisons Judge Michael Reilly.

He points the finger of blame bluntly at the middle classes, people living in nice houses in leafy suburbs up and down the country. His message is that they are funding the drug barons by using so-called recreational drugs.

His central thesis is that by starving them of funds, the domino effect on prisons would be lessened. By denting their power, people would hit the spread of narcotics in jails. Sadly, in a thought-provoking address by a public official with a refreshing tendency to speak his mind, he admits that after five years in the job he has yet to meet anyone whose life was improved by prison. A telling observation.

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