Roscommon: T.D. Luke “MING” Flanagan Claims That He Is To Stop Abusing Cannabis To Protect His Family – But ?

24 Mar

NEWLY elected TD Luke “Ming” Flanagan has announced he is to give up cannabis in order to protect his wife and children.

The colourful Roscommon-South Leitrim TD has come under considerable pressure since a Fianna Fáil Councillor lodged an official complaint with gardaí regarding his habit.

Mr Flanagan said he was not willing to put his family in a position whereby they would be adversely affected by his behaviour.

Consequently, he said he would not be smoking cannabis in the republic of Ireland in the future.

However, Mr Flanagan said he would continue to work towards legalising cannabis, something which he could do as a representative of Dáil Eireann, and not if he had been arrested and removed from the Dáil.

 He has said he smokes a cannabis joint in the evenings to relax.

Earlier this week Cllr John Coonan from Kilkenny confirmed that he lodged his letter of complaint with a local Supt in Kilkenny City, with a view to the matter being progressed through senior garda channels.

Mr Coonan proposed the issue at a council meeting where he got no backing from his colleagues. However, went ahead with his complaint saying it was “nothing personal”.

Also this week an editorial in the Garda Review by the Garda Representative Association’s General Secretary said there was an elected representative “who is publicly committed to the legalisation of cannabis and has regularly admitted in the media that he cultivates a supply for his own use”.


He said this was “a direct challenge to the law” and added “we cannot have a situation where the law is ignored, either through appeasement of political expediency; otherwise our system of justice will become a mockery”.



PROJECT workers in a number of communities are encountering increased instances of drug and alcohol abuse spanning three generations of the same family, a conference has heard.

At the conference, organised by the Ballymun Youth Action Project (BYAP), the country’s longest-running community drugs project, its director Dermot King called on the Government to recognise the vital role played by community-based drugs projects.


Mr King said some communities in Ireland are caught in a vicious cycle of addiction with drug and alcohol problems passed down through generations of the same families.

He said project workers have witnessed an intergenerational pattern of drug misuse within some families in Ballymun, and that similar patterns are being reported in other communities

“In some cases, we are now treating the grandchildren of people who attended our service when it was established 30 years ago.

“This has far-reaching implications, not just for the individual families concerned, but for entire communities. Linked to an intergenerational cycle of drug misuse are problems such as increased incidences of criminal activity, physical degeneration of neighbourhoods, unemployment, poverty and ill-health. As such, even those families who avoid substance misuse can suffer as a result of high levels of drug use in their local area,” Mr King said.

Yesterday’s conference is part of a series of events to mark the BYAP’s 30th anniversary. BYAP was founded by local people in 1981 in response to the drug-related deaths of three young people in Ballymun.

According to Mr King, different trends in substance misuse have been evident over the lifetime of the project.

“When BYAP was founded the worst of the heroin epidemic had yet to arrive here, but other drugs and alcohol were taking away young lives, and our first priority was to help those affected and to educate our community about these drugs. Then heroin arrived and made things worse. That situation changed when methadone was introduced, but the problems didn’t just go away.

“Now heroin is less prevalent, but people are seeking help due to their use of prescription drugs or head-shop substances. In some cases, these people find it hard to acknowledge they have a problem because they do not view the substances they use as ‘hard-core’ drugs.”

Mr King said successive governments have quite rightly listened to the voices of academics and statutory agencies when planning their response to drugs-related problems.

“However, the Government must not ignore the very important voice of communities, who know what is needed on the ground to support those who misuse drugs and to prevent our young people from following in their footsteps.

“Research backs up the call for community voices to be put at the forefront of finding a solution: successive reports, going back as far as the Bradshaw Report in 1983, have called for communities to be consulted with fully and to be central to any proposed solutions. But, to date… we have had little more than cosmetic engagement with those of us on the ground delivering a community response.”


The drug trade and its associated problems continue to grow in most parts of the world.

Global abuse and accessibility of drugs has become increasingly complex, as trafficking routes have become shorter, more diverse and more easily traversed.

The drug trade involves growers, producers, couriers, suppliers, dealers and users and affects people in almost all of INTERPOL’s 188 member countries.

INTERPOL’s criminal intelligence officers focus on the most commonly used and trafficked narcotic drugs – cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and synthetic drugs – as well as precursor chemicals and doping substances.

INTERPOL’s primary drug-control role is to identify new drug trafficking trends and criminal organizations operating at the international level and to assist all national and international law enforcement bodies concerned with countering the illicit production, trafficking and abuse of drugs by:

  • collecting and analysing data obtained from member countries for strategic and tactical intelligence reports and disseminating these reports to the concerned countries;
  • responding to and supporting international drug investigations;
  • helping to coordinate drug investigations involving at least two member countries;
  • organizing operational working meetings between member countries where INTERPOL has identified common links in cases being investigated in these countries;
  • organizing regional or global conferences on specific drug topics, the aims of which are to assess the extent of the drug problem, exchange information on the latest investigative techniques and strengthen cooperation within the law enforcement community.

INTERPOL maintains close liaison with national law enforcement agencies and with non-governmental organizations (NGO) that have a counterdrug mandate. This constant communication is crucial to fulfilling INTERPOL’s mission to aid the international community in curbing illicit drug trafficking and sales.


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