Dublin: The Day That Cocaine Traces Was Discovered In Leinster House

24 Jan

TRACES OF COCAINE FOUND IN TOILETS NEAR DAIL CHAMBER:

16/02/2006:
A tabloid newspaper report this morning claims cocaine is being snorted in Leinster House.

The Irish Daily Mirror says tests it conducted on swabs taken from the toilets at Leinster House found traces of the class A drug.

The newspaper said the toilets tested were close to the visitors’ bar and just metres from the main Dáil chamber.

Gráinne Kenny of Europe Against Drugs is calling for gardaí to be drafted in to investigate the matter.

“This is our seat of government,” she said. “Drugs are destroying this country. This can’t be swept under the carpet.”

Fine Gael TD Damien English, meanwhile, said the tests showed that Ireland has a drugs problem and that stronger Government action is needed to inform people about the dangers involved.

“The only way to tackle it is through education and trying to convince people that they don’t need drugs and that they’re not good for them,” he said. “That’s where this Government is failing.”

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TDs and anti-drugs campaigners were last night outraged at the shock result of the Irish Daily Mirror’s cocaine probe at the Dail.

We found traces of the killer drug – once used only by the rich and famous – in men’s toilets near the visitors’ bar in Leinster House.

The Labour Party’s Justice spokesman Joe Costello said: “Shocked is not the word. I am amazed there should be traces of cocaine in the toilets of the Dail.

“It isn’t necessarily a member of parliament doing it. It could be a group signed in by the TDs.

“I think it is very important that the Irish Daily Mirror should highlight the use of cocaine.

“It’s becoming part of the country’s social scene.

“It is cheeky that it should be done in a house of parliament which proscribes cocaine as an illegal drug.”

We swabbed the cisterns, toilet roll holders and toilet lids with a special kit on Monday afternoon.
Our test found traces of coke, proving the drug had been snorted just metres away from the main chamber where TDs vote on Irish law – including legislation on how to stamp out drug abuse.

EURAD boss Grainne Kenny blasted: “This is the seat of our Government and drug use in Leinster House is a very serious issue.

“The Garda drug squad must be brought in to investigate and Bertie Ahern should make a statement.

“Our politicians say they are trying to stamp out cocaine abuse and organized crime.

“But the fact that The Mirror has found cocaine inside the Dail undermines them. If this happened in a business an investigation would be launched.

“I congratulate The Mirror on this investigation. I would say the Irish public owes The Mirror a great amount of gratitude for highlighting this.”

Although guests do not need to be signed into the visitors’ bar they must be signed into Leinster House itself.

The Green Party’s Justice spokesman Ciaran Cuffe told us: “I am concerned about this, but not really surprised.

“There is a lot of recreational use of cocaine in Ireland in general.”

Fine Gael’s Justice spokesman Jim O’Keeffe was stunned. He told us: “Good God, I am horrified.

“It is hugely worrying and the fact that it is inside Leinster House brings home to us the extent of the problem.

“I think it is important that The Mirror highlights this.

“Exposes like this will shake Justice Minister Michael McDowell
Michael McDowell out of his denial that we are in the middle of a drugs epidemic.”

The swab kits we used are approved by the Home Office in the UK.

They are used by the police, Customs teams, schools and private firms.

Last year the Government-backed Drugs Awareness Campaign’s posters were put up in toilets of pubs and clubs across Ireland, and featured the message:

“There is no fairytale ending with cocaine.” were used to hammer home the dangers of cocaine.

Ms Kenny added: “Maybe the TDs should put these posters up in the lavatories at Leinster House.”

An Oirechtas spokeswoman said last night: “We have no evidence or reason to suspect that drugs are being used in Leinster House. If we had, we would take appropriate action.” www.drugs.ie

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