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Dublin: 13 °C Monday 20 May, 2019
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"Horrific": Gangs passing drug debts on to families bereaved by suicide

And children as young as 15 are involved in ‘tiger kidnappings.’

ciaran-farrelly-brooks-murders-scenes Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

AN OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE has been told about a recent spike in young people taking their own lives amid drug-related debts to gangs in Dublin.

In a “horrifying” twist, however, criminals are passing on the debt to bereaved families.

Anna Quigley, from the Citywide Drugs Crisis Campaign, was speaking today to the Oireachtas Justice Committee, about the effects of gangland crime on local communities.

She told TDs and Senators that communities in the capital were no longer standing up against drug dealing, because of the “implicit threat” of violence, and constant “low-level intimidation.”

She noted that one shooting in an area was enough to “silence 30 or 40 people.”

quigley Source: Oireachtas.ie

Addressing the devastation on local families caused by drug dealing, violence, and debt collection, she pointed out a particularly disturbing phenomenon in the city:

Something we’ve heard about recently, which is horrifying…there are quite a number of suicides, by young people in particular, around debts that they owe.
And we hear of cases where, after the person has committed suicide, the debt lives on.
So their family are told – ‘you’re inheriting the debt.’ Obviously that’s a fairly horrific situation for those families.

flynn Source: Oireachtas.ie

Quigley added that because local youths “don’t see people involved in the [drug] trade being sanctioned,” making up to €100 an hour for carrying drugs or sending messages has become “an appealing economic opportunity.”

The committee heard testimony from a number of activists, including calls for the decriminalisation of cannabis, and the reinstatement of a cabinet minister to oversee the government’s national drug strategy.

Patricia Flynn, from the Association for Criminal Justice Research and Development, told TDs and Senators drug gangs were actively recruiting and intimidating young people into criminal activities.

Children as young as 15 are either on the periphery of gangs, or have already been recruited by them for drug dealing, and even tiger kidnappings.

First published 2.30pm

Read: Policing ‘does not have a link’ with reducing the amount of drugs on our streets>

PICTURES: Four being questioned following seizure of a tonne of cocaine>

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Dan MacGuill

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