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Dolphins Barn And Drugs: The State Of Play Today?

category national | history and heritage | feature author Sunday December 04, 2005 01:04author by Barry Report this post to the editors

This story was first published by Barry as a comment on this article: "A review of "Pushers Out: The inside story of Dublin’s anti-drugs movement"

I was going out with a girl from near Dolphins barn when Josie Dwyer was killed. I used to pass him quite frequently. He was always on the grass outside the flats or hanging around the railings on the bridge. A pathetic sight - he couldn't have weighed more than 7 or 8 stone.

Before he was killed if you walked through Fatima chances are you'd be approached maybe a couple of times and asked if you were looking gear. And it only takes a minute to walk through it. One guy even employed the Moore street selling technique of yelling "come get yer luvverly gear" while riding round on a mountain bike. The drugs thing was just out of control. The bird I went with attended many anti-drug vigils and marches and even favoured shooting the bigger dealers dead. Last I heard of her years ago she was addicted to smoking the stuff herself - just gave up . Beautiful girl too, an awful waste.

Im not surprised to be honest Josie Dwyer got thumped even though it was wrong, especially given the company he was in. People were at the end of their tether with the rate of adddiction. What made that era particularly bad and dangerous for youngsters was the emerging rave scene which itself lead to an explosion in drug use and culture even in the middle class areas. The working class areas got hit even worse.

Youngsters would go to raves and get introduced to the Es which they were assured were safe and non addictive. Sure didnt trendy types like that bollocks Anthony Wilson and others go on TV talking about how great they were. Trendy comedians joked on TV about taking them. The youngsters would be worried about going home off their faces on Es because their parents would see they were hyper. Mnay of their parents were violently anti drugs. The E dealers had a great solution to this - smoke a bit of gear and it'll wind you down before you go home. Nobody'd know any different.

They assured the youngsters they couldn't get addicted through smoking the stuff, and the youngsters thought it was a world removed from the addicts with their needles who they actually looked down on. If they smoked it only once a week it took a wee while to actually get addicted so the dealers lies were actually believed by many. Those who did get addicted were thought just to have "got into the gear" of their own choice rather than have gotten addicted trying to come down off Es . What happened then was the children of people who were anti drugs became drug addicts through a popular youth culture being exploited by dealers as much as urban neglect . And because they were smoking rather than injecting it took the parents a lot longer to cop on .

Although Josie Dwyer was a victim , an addict and an AIDS sufferer he was at the end of the day one of those people who were selling this stuff to youngsters and assuring them they couldnt get addicted smoking it . He was only selling to feed his own addiction but the frustration that led to him being thumped was down to his openly selling gear at all hours of the day and night . He was nearly a land mark in Fatima as he was there all the time . 99% of the time his presence evoked pity but on that night it resulted in frustration and he was seen as just another vulture.

It was terrible he was killed but people need to understand the frustration and pain that the drugs caused in that community.

Anyway , its been a while since I was really talking to anybody in that area . Has the Heroin addiction rate remained constant since then or is it worse now ? Or has coke/crack moved in to replace it ? Whats the story with anti drug activism in the south inner city today ?

Sounds like a good book that , I'd be very interested in getting a copy.

author by gay georipublication date Sun Dec 04, 2005 01:51author email gg at bearla dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great Article - enjoyed it very much. Thought-provoking. What are the policy implications though for government and communities? I pass Merchants Quay project every morning and see people dealing gear in the doorway unhindered by staff or gardai. How are people supposed to get clean?

author by seedotpublication date Sun Dec 04, 2005 02:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

pp 126/7

“ As the days passed the coverage became increasingly lurid. Dwyer, we were led to believe, was 'savagely beaten to death' by a 'mob', or even a 'drunken mob' in some accounts, using a variety of weapons – the list of which lengthened daily. Local repubicans, it was predictably asserted, led the attack. Every account emotionally referred to the 'murder' of Josie Dwyer though there was no indication of any premeditation or that murder charges would be brought against anyone.
In life, Josie Dwyer had been a significant player in the drugs trade in the area before succumbing to his own product. Members of the notorious Dunne family carried his coffin. In death, he assumed saintly proportions. He had appealed to the ambulance attendants, we were told, as he lay bleeding to death on the ground, not to touch him as he was suffering from AIDS. This concoction of some fevered journalists imagination was repeated by a senior church figure in Dublin over the airwaves as a testimony to the inherent Christianity of the man. There was, in fact, no blood, no such appeal, and Dwyer climbed into the ambulance under his own stream, Of all the journalists who wrote on the matter at the time, it was Veronica Guerin alone who adopted any sort of unprejudiced approach, documenting Dwyer's drug dealing and debunking some of the more outlandish assertions surrounding his death.”

Copyright notice: this is copied under fair use from Andre Lyders book. If Mr. Lyder or anybody else wants to upload or link to a chapter of the book, I'm sure people would be interested to read. My wrists would not stand more typing.

author by Barrypublication date Sun Dec 04, 2005 03:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its worth pointing out too that the reason that little scumbag on the mountain bike was riding around Fatima calling out he had gear for sale was because he knew there were people in those flats on methadone desperately trying to come off it . It wasnt any inner city wackiness . He knew if he kept riding about under the windows calling out sooner or later somebody trying to kick the habit would crack . Then that person would have no choice but to hand him £300 quid or more a week .

It was around that time a young man committed suicide after dealers actually began pushing free samples through his letter box to get him back on the gear . He couldnt leave the house because he feared being offered drugs but they got to him in the end . He preferred death to a life of addiction and degradation but there were no glowing tributes to him as a martyr .

Since Heroin arrived in Dublin it has destroyed more lives than the troubles . Not only the deaths through overdose , Aids suicide and feuds but theres probably as many amputees through injecting stuff with dirty needles thats cut with all sorts of unhygenic rubbish to bulk it out .

Yet no resources worth speaking of have been used to actively tackle it . Theres more sympathy in the southern media for dead and injured RUC and soldiers than for the countless victims under their noses . Attempts by local people to put a stop to dealing have been met with unremitting hostility by the southern state at every level . Local people have been demonised as monsters and those pushers and parasites like Dwyer eulogised instead . The state in many cases effectively aligned itself with the dealers rather than the community through Special Branch , the courts and the media which made community groups out as worse monsters than the actual scumbags they were up against . This could only have happened because of a definite political agenda by the powers that be . Whatever the reasons may have been it certainly happened . That agenda was in practice virulently anti working class and virulently anti Irish as well . People deserve an official explanation for it at least .

Id actually like to know what the exact figures are for drug related deaths and suicides since the early 80s . Does anyone know if this has been collated by anyone ?

author by spitty spitty two shoespublication date Sun Dec 04, 2005 03:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

what is the story with anti-drugs activism these days? I pass through the liberties / Thomas street a good bit and in the last year or so I've noticed a big increase in the number of people scoring / selling gear in a really open way. Is it just that i'm only noticing it now or has it actually gone up?

author by Jason Gooljarpublication date Sun Dec 04, 2005 03:50author email jason.gooljar at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

I feel for you and the problem your community is having with drugs.

Drugs here have been a major problem in America for decades. We had a so called "war on drugs" which has failed much like our "war on terrorism" is a farce.

To combat drugs I think that some countries in Europe are actually doing the best thing. That is they are treating the people who use drugs as victims and people who need treatment. They are punishing the people who sell the drugs. That's probably the best thing that can be done. Of course Singapore has got it all wrong with being too radical with hanging people who sell drugs like Nguyen Tong which was sadly totally ignored in the United States press.

Related Link: http://workingfamiliespartyman.blogspot.com
author by observer2publication date Sun Dec 04, 2005 12:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The heroin problem is no longer confined to the capitals inner city, heroin is now available in every town in Ireland. I recently heard of one town in leinster which has over 100 registered heroin addicts. I personally know of families (not from disadvantaged inner city backgrounds) which have been destroyed by heroin.

It is clear from the continuing shootings on our streets that this is a big money businness, where profits are high and where those who supply the drug will go to any lengths to protect their " franchise".

The obvious inability of the Gardai to deal with this issue leaves one in no doubt that what is required is community action. If the residents of Montpelier were able to rid their area of prostitution through such action then maybe similar street campaigns would work against drug dealers........of course this only tackles supply and in the final analysis the drug trade like all other businness is consumer driven. So long as their is a demand for heroin there will be ruthless suppliers to meet the demand.

It is clear therefore that any campaign must address both sides of the equation, that is both those who supply the drug and those who wish to purchase it.

author by Barrypublication date Sun Dec 04, 2005 13:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Heroin is available in Newry and Dundalk either side of me . But neither town has yet suffered anything like the devastation I witnessed around Dolphins barn .

Armed drugs gangs in Newry are becoming increasingly brazen though . If the community there doesnt get a grip on the situation soon therell be a disaster .

author by garethpublication date Sun Dec 04, 2005 15:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

use a sexist term like 'bird' in your article? it seems like a thinly veiled attempt to assert your authentic working class identity, as opposed to all those middle class people (read: bourgeois pseudolibertine scum) who promoted ecstacy use and, according to your rather tendentious logic, are somehow responsible for the heroin epidemic in the most deprived and marginalised areas in dublin. i have to wonder how many kids were naive enough (or afraid enough of their parents) to smoke gear to come down off yokes - most young people i know have are well aware that hash can be used for the same purpose. the real reason that heroin use is such a scourge in these areas is because because people from these areas are treated like human waste by the state and society at large, condemned at birth to the false choice between the most degrading of jobs or crime in order to satisfy the internalised desire for material status that consumer capitalism sustains itself upon. little wonder that the euphoric release of heroin is used as a panacea for the symbolic violence inflicted upon such communities.

author by Barrypublication date Sun Dec 04, 2005 16:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

your condemnation of the piece , as well as your attack on my honesty is duly noted .


author by Jon Glackinpublication date Sun Dec 04, 2005 16:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its time to have a real honest debate about the Drugs 'situation' instead of the knee jerk responses of 'Good and Bad' and catcalling..

I believe that if we are to address the issue properly we have to recognise that Drug use is prevalent in Ireland for a number of reasons that Im sure people are very aware of...

On a very real level we must examine in the 26 counties the establishment of consumption rooms and the availability of clean works and accurate information...
For example there are currently less than 30 detoxification beds and only 150 residential drug-free treatment beds in Ireland to treat the 14,500 heroin users according to Merchant's Quay Project (MQI) http://forums.homeless.org.au/showthread.php?t=526
One must remeber that the 14,500 people are those who are 'registered' ie accessing services or methadone programmes which I believe make up a fraction of the real figures...

In the 6 counties needle exchanges are not even readily available, which in Belfast has led to a marked increase in Hep C etc.. This situation must be addressed immediately..

I look forward to hearing peoples honest thoughts to a very urgent situation...

author by Barrypublication date Sun Dec 04, 2005 17:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My own opinion is that Heroin urgently needs to be legalised to an extent . Registered addicts should be able to receive it from their GP for free . Addicts need to be viewed AND treated by the state purely as suffering from an illness . They are effectively criminalised by the system due to the simple fact they must engage in illegal activity to fund their illness . An addict is in the grip of an illness and rarely has a choice . Whatever has to be done to get the money to pay for it simply will be done .

If an addict was getting medical grade heroin under supervision many of the illnesses associated with the drug would disappear too . Even leaving aside the issue of dirty needles the stuff thats being injected is cut with all sorts of crap to increase its volume . A number of addicts died in the recent past simply because the stuff itself was full off deadly bacteria , not surprising as quite often its smuggled in up someones arse .. Clean needles would have made no difference there . The stuff dealers bulk out their product with is what leaves so many addicts looking so sick . Medically supervised heroin use would allow an addict to begin to manage their life at the very least . Under such a system its doubtful youd even know a person was an addict . Although highly addictive heroin itself in a pure form doesnt actually do your body much damage at all . Its the states response to heroin that are causing virtually every single ill effect while at the same time doing damn all to respond to these .

Politicians are vying with each other to spend a fortune on new jail cells to cope with the jail population . If that money was spent instead on detox and rehab units , with heroin being available from a doctor instead of a criminal thered be a lot less people in jail , Im convinced of that .

Its time to start treating an illness as an illness .

author by 21 Jump Streetpublication date Mon Dec 05, 2005 00:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Across from the Luas Fatima stop Taxi's pull up on a semi regular basis, but nobody gets in or out. Small hooded or baseball cap wearing gents walk over and lean in the passenger side window for a short time then the taxis drive off. If you walk past during these incidences they stop talking and stare at you until you have moved out of ear shot.
The spot is directly under the sick joke banner photo erected by the government. It shows a group of kids from the flats wearing caps and gowns and holding ribbon bound documents (possible meant to be degrees). The title reads 'the future is looking better.'
Same old same old.

author by 22 jump streetpublication date Mon Dec 05, 2005 00:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

At the crossroads where the south circular crosses with cork street/dolphins barn, dealers/look outs stand on the corner of boles chemist, across the street just outside the church and on the far side just past Massey’s funeral home. While waiting on a 19 bus, (beside the off licence), you can see them appear and disappear as the occasional gardi pass.

author by Sean McStiffypublication date Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Barry still managed to insert a little bit of RUC bashing into an article on a completly different subject. Well Done

author by Jopublication date Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Drugs destroy famalies and communities. But what is the answer to this scourge? I was opposed to the CPAD knee jerk of intimidating dealers who were often users. But at the same time the Drug problem was only impacting on woorking class areas, so the government were happy to ignore the problem as it was only impacting on people who didn't vote and didnt count. I was also concerned that SF manipulated the CPAD for their own purposes. SF were quiet cynical about the use of heavy tactics and generally attacking dealers in areas were the attacks would improve their standing in the community. They were very cute when it came to dealers/criminals being shot dead, neither claiming nor denying IRA involvement just giving a nod and a wink to CPAD activists.

I think many that were in the CPAD and many of the SF activists now have a different attitude to the problem. Certainly, SF no longer participate in attacks onn Drug dealers but "they haven't gone away you know".

Working class areas have attempted to develop more supportive approaches to the problem. Trying to encourage people to come off gear. Some of these projects involve replacing heroin with Methadone and thats another debate worth having, as Methadone is as addictive as Heroin - this begs the question whats the difference except that Methadone is legal and heroin isn't.

When drugs are discussed we should always remember at all times that the biggest killer in ireland isn't Heroin, E's, Coke or any other illegal substance - its booze. Drink is a real problem in Ireland it is responsible for Road deaths, domestic violence, depression, rape, suicide, teen pregnancy, anti social behavoir, yet it is ignored whereas smoking cannibas is considered a crime.

author by pólpublication date Mon Dec 05, 2005 14:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That is a typical attitude picked up in believing the articles of rightwing Free State propaganda, which may have fitted in well with your own civil war politics and beliefs. Sinn Fein took an active approach towards drugs in these areas because no one else would, as you state your self working class people don’t vote so the Free State government didn’t and don’t care. The effects one drug dealer in a single area is huge, starting a chain of addicts turning of crime, robberies, mugging in their own area to pay for their habbit. Although there are some people living on cloud 9, in passive land, there must be a community response to a dealer in a area to stop or move on, and that at times can only be achieved through direct action, picketing the house ect. Captain Boycott comes to mind, its part of our history this direct action. The ‘police force’ of the 26 counties as we have seen,are unable to deal with such problems, and so communities must defend for them selves,such as an individual would do if under attack.

author by Jopublication date Mon Dec 05, 2005 14:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Typical provo response. Can I ask one question if provos were right to evict dealers assult dealers intimidate dealers then why are the not still doing it? Has the drug problem disappeared? Or has SF decided that they no longer get any kudos in communities for this style of direct action or are SF now looking for the middle class vote who dislike vilgalantism?

author by Barrypublication date Mon Dec 05, 2005 20:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While of course many small time dealers are themselves addicts and victims , working class communities have a right to a quality of life in their areas . Addicts or no the presence of heroin dealers on their estates and all that goes with that was and is unnacceptable . The people that live there have rights too .

The fact that used syringes are lying round childrens playareas and god knows what else isnt a subject for academic debate . Its something that needs stopped there and then on the spot , not after a few years discussing the rights and plights of heroin dealers . Quite simply the state took little or no interest in stopping it . It isnt just Sinn Fein who seem to have backed off (although in all fairness their members made major contributions to such campaigns over the years) , but the garda did damn all , except go to town on anti drugs activists . A number of people have posted here about open air heroin dealing they encounter in their everyday life . Communities simply shouldnt have to put up with it . Anyone saying they should put up with it is either unsympathetic or basically sniggering at the plight of working class areas .

author by Jopublication date Mon Dec 05, 2005 20:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What I m asking is whats the solution? Zero tolerance isnt being applied because its not possible. Working class communities have not been invaded from Mars by dealers and addicts, they are from those communities.

I dont know what the solution could be but I doubt evicting dealers who are usually users is the answer.

Possible ways forward could be

Automatic confiscation of all property of dealers (addicts who are dealers usually have FA property).

All monies taken by CAB from criminality to be invested in community responses to addiction and invested in social infrastructure in working class areas hit worst by addiction.

One to one family support for addicts to break the habit.

Prisons made drug free

author by Barrypublication date Mon Dec 05, 2005 20:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dealers are warned beforehand to stop dealing or theyll be evicted . Usually they comply , its the ones that refuse to stop dealing who get evicted . Drugs activists have long done all in their power to get addicts treatment . Quite often they are the people they grew up with and went to school with .
Eviction is a last resort .

The other initiatives you discuss are within the power of the state . The state up to now hasnt done any of these things which isnt CPADs fault . Its not in their power .

author by Kyle Normanpublication date Mon Dec 05, 2005 22:03author address Dublin.author phone Report this post to the editors

Drugs are dangerous. Drugs overheat the brain, cause high blood pressure and have severe side effects. I have found this out the hard way because I had to get treatment off my doctor for high blood pressure after coming off Hash a short time ago. I would never take it again, it is very dangerous.

author by Barrypublication date Mon Dec 05, 2005 22:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well the percieved ( middle class) wisdom for years was that hash was harmless . Now we know that it causes schizophrenia and other psychoses in the young , that it stays in your system for a long time and that it is full of potentially toxic chemicals .

I know a couple ( long term friends of mine)whose 2 children from previous relationships both committed suicide within months of each other . They directly link this to ecstacy abuse - which is now known to cause major episodes of depression . Everytime I remember these style gurus on tv talking about it , or even that song "Ebeneezer Good" I feel quite angry .

A poster above didnt believe me about youngsters getting offered heroin by dealers , saying hash would do the same job . Does he think the drugs trade is like a supermarket where the consumer can pick and choose? A dealer will offer you something he can get you hooked on . I was frequently told in that period that Maijuana was often quite difficult to get while Heroin was quite easy to score . Why should a dealer waste his time with hash when the profits are 10 times higher with gear ? Dealers arent a community service for fecks sake !

In the smaller towns dealer gangs and networks get built up originally with hash and es . Once its in place they want to earn more profits and start pushing stronger more deadly stuff . Thats the big danger with "soft" drugs , the network the distribution and the market gets created . The only thing holding the gangs back from supplyingh heroin here fore years was the distinct possibility of several bullets in the face . Now the provies have gone respectable that threat is largely gone in most places (for the time being)

. Personally I dont think any illegal drugs are harmless , primarily due to the scumbags who sell them , and would advise people to stay well clear . The devastation caused by those scum is heartbreaking and doesnt go away .

author by Jopublication date Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Once again you ignore the biggest drug abused in Ireland - Booze. Its killed more than Heroin, hash, E's, coke and the so called "Troubles".

You intimate that dealers are still been 'told' to get out of areas. Not true as far as I'm concerned but if so cite some instances reported in the media please. You also refuse to concede there has been a significant shift in SF's position on drugs. If the CPAD approch worked why have there been no protests/evictions of late.

IMO you have a very blinkered attitude to drug use. You are unwilling to recognise the fact that Dealers of Booze are given permission to sell their wares to people already pissed, sometimes leaving the drug den (pub) to get into their car. The police ignore this - drive by any off the beating track pub and you will see the car park full.

You argue against hash usage on the grounds that Dealers will ply their customers with heroin because theres more profit in it. This is more an argument to legalise hash. Doing so would eliminate the criminal dealer and allow for more revenue from taxation

Some background reading

The Government unveiled its National Alcohol Policy in 1996 in an effort to tackle the growth of alcohol abuse and alcohol-related harm. During the period 1989-2001, Ireland has had the highest increase in alcohol consumption among EU countries.
read on:

Alcohol Abuse Surpasses Drugs

The number of people abusing alcohol is double that of all other drugs combined, according to a new report from the Health Research Board (HRB).

The report covered two of the country’s biggest health board areas - the South East and the Southern Health Board. In both areas 71.5 per cent (1,498) of all substance abuse cases were alcohol related.

In both health board areas 40 per cent of cases had been treated previously, indicating that this is a chronic health problem, according to the report. Cannabis use mixed with alcohol abuse was the main cause of drug problems.

There was also an increase in the number of females seeking treatment for alcohol abuse, something which was usually always male dominated.
Counties Cork and Wexford had the lowest number of cases while Carlow had the highest.


author by Shipseapublication date Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hope this isnt off topic but an underlying issue is the hypocrisy of the socially acceptable position of alcohol , its use and abuse by many people who shriek about drugs at the same time. Agree about the dangers of drugs as set out above and the myth of the 'innocence' of hash eg, but unless or until we confront the double standard viz alcohol, its unlikely the drug problem will ever be resolved. Alcohol is legal and look at the scale of the problems it cuases. Huge proportion of road deaths, A&E treatments, domestic abuse, crime, mental health problems etc etc. Young people routinely cite their parents abuse of alcohol as a reasonable comparison to their drug taking. They've got a point.

author by Molepublication date Tue Dec 06, 2005 14:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Summary of the report's main findings
All drugs have an adverse impact; but heroin and crack are by far the most addictive, expensive and harmful drugs
Heroin and/or crack users cause harm to the health and social functioning of users and society as a whole, but users also commit substantial amounts of crime to fund their drug use (costing £16bn a year). Including health and social functioning harms, the harms arising from drug use amount to £24bn a year
There are an estimated 280,000 heroin and/or crack users: at any one time, only 20% of high harm causing users are receiving treatment, whilst 80% are not
Over the course of a year, two thirds of high harm causing users engage with either treatment or criminal justice, but:
- those engaging with treatment tend not to stay with it for long
- many of those engaging with criminal justice are not formally identified as users or
do not have their use dealt with
- a third of high harm causing users do not engage with either treatment or the criminal justice system
The drugs supply business is large, highly flexible and very adaptable; over time the industry has seen consumption grow and prices reduce
Interventions at every stage of the production, trafficking, wholesaling and dealing process have resulted overall in modest seizure rates of up to ~20% of total production
Even if supply-side intervetions were more effective, it is not clear that the impact on the harms by serious drug users would be reduced

Conclusions at the end of the first phase of the project
The rising use of serious drugs over the past twenty years has had an increasingly adverse impact on users, their families and the rest of society
The drugs supply market is highly sophisticated, and attempts to intervene have not resulted in sustainable disruption to the market at any level. As a result:
- the suppy of drugs has increased
- prices are low enough not deter initiation
- but prices are high enough to cause heavy users to commit high levels of crime to
fund their habits.

The 280,000 high harm causing heroin and/or crack users engage frequentl with treatment and/or criminal justice but either remain engaged for short periods of time and/or do not have their use identified. There is scope for the state to deal more effectively with users when they come into contact with government services and substantially to reduce the harms the cause

Phase 2: next steps
To identify policies which will substantially reduce the harms caused by drug users, both to society and to themselves

In particular to:
Define a rationale for intervention in the drugs supply chain, such that interventions in the market help to reduce harm
Identify which interventions with users and potential users will most reduce harm
Propose the most cost-effective means overall of reducing harms through intervention both to users and in the supply chain

Related Link: http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2005/07/05/Report.pdf
author by Jopublication date Tue Dec 06, 2005 15:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When they talk about the most harmful drug they are only talking about illegal substances. I suggest you tune into Bravo's programme "Booze Britian" and you will see the weekly impact of binge drinking. Or if your up for it, sit in the accident and emergency facility of your local hospital on a Friday/Saturday night.

Most anti social behaviour is as a direct consiquence of alcohol.

author by Molepublication date Tue Dec 06, 2005 16:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm not disagreeing but I think this report looks quite progressively at the issue of hard drug abuse. Not the hang em and flog em stuff.
If you maybe read the stats in the report you would notice that it doesn't pull its punches on alcohol abuse.

author by aunty druggiepublication date Tue Dec 06, 2005 17:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

spitty spitty two shoes made a good point about noticing a big increase in the number of people scoring / selling gear in a really open way in the liberties / Thomas street over the last year or so. There are 2 reasons for this the cops being paid off is the obvious one. However some of the top druggies in the liberties are well connected to powerful people in the area and a blind eye is being turned by everyone including the left etc.

author by Shipseapublication date Tue Dec 06, 2005 19:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

...over at the Irish Daily Star (where editorial standards must be pretty lax :-)) they know how to deal with drug dealers. Reporting on a drug shooting in Donahies on their front page today:

'A member of one of the country's most ruthless drug gangs has been shot in the arse.'

beneath 'SHOT IN THE BOT' headline.

And for good measure on page 2:

'Man escapes by seat of his pants'.

Not having gotten to the bottom of things yet, they continue on p 2:

'A man was blasted with a bullet in the BUM in Dublin last night, The Star learned.' in case we hadnt noticed the front page.

And finally,

'The low blow...', 'shot in the rear...' :

they realy made the most of this one, no?

Not to make light of the issue itself, though, apparently Gardai are investigating three separate drug feuds in Dublin at the moment.

author by Barrypublication date Tue Dec 06, 2005 20:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You accuse me of ignoring alcohol . Firstly if you look at the title of this thread it points out that this was a comment of mine on the book about CPAD that indymedia eds ran as a story , not about drugs and substance abuse in general .

Secondly Ive no need to be lectured on the evils of alcohol due to the history of addiction to it in my own family as well as my working in a number of hospitals . If you read it again youll also notice Ive suggested Heroin should be legalised to an extent to put an end to the criminalisation of addicts . But if your seriously suggesting Im a hypocrite for criticising drug dealers and not pub owners I suggest for the next few weeks you try heroin yourself ( youll get it on tick if you ask nicely) . Come back in a few months and tell me about the evils of drink vs heroin again ( providing you havent had to sell your computer) .

Are you seriously having a go because Ive said people have a right to live free from the dangers heroin and the dealers pose to their communities ? FFS ! What world do you inhabit ? No doubt Im advocating encroaching on your right to use marijuana or whatever which is obviously an outrage . But fuck the rights of ordinary people to live in an estate that isnt ruined by drug dealers .

Ive no problem if the Irish people decide they want hash legalised . But until they do the FACT of the situation is working class areas and communities are being destroyed by heroin and the scumbags who deal in drugs . Arguments about pubs and alcohol are of little use to an estate ravaged by heroin addiction and in fear of drugs gangs . People want pubs at the end of the day . They dont want their areas destroyed by drugs gangs , that is unacceptable and they shouldnt have to tolerate it for one minute .

As for my "blinkered attitude to drug use" , my beliefs come from being in and around that area in particular for around 2 years , as well as an extremely rough town in the NE of England which was full of drugdealers for years. And what Ive seen drug dealers get up to for years in Belfast , Newry and Dundalk . They are different scum from different areas but the stories everytime are depressingly similar .

My girlfriend showed me how approximately half the people she went to school with were addicts , how some of her own family were addicts . Some of the people wed pass every day were addicts (all in a very small area around Dolphins barn) . My "theories" on how they got addicted are from what they , addicts themselves told me . Not what I heard one night but for what I seen and heard over a very lengthy period .

Her father remembered when heroin first came in . People couldnt afford to drink much, especially in the pubs . It was usual for young couples to sit in of a saturday night and smoke hash . All of a sudden the guys selling the hash said there was none , but they had the other stuff if they wanted it . People tried smoking that first , it was handed out for free sometimes , got hooked and ended up injecting . His brother and his brothers wife were both addicts from that period , a couple in their early 40s ,on and off heroin users for nearly 20 years . Sometimes my girl had to bring them round their shopping because they werent fit to do it themselves , and it would be no surprise if one of them was injecting in the house . And it was the hash dealers who got them onto it . That girl was so angry about what the dealers had done to that area shed have gladly shot them herself . She knew Josie Dwyer to speak to and often did . She pitied the state he was in despit his background. I had fuck all sympathy to be honest but after a while you couldnt help feel sorry for him simply because of his appearance .

The day I found out that girl had become an addict herself( she was anti drugs , hardly ever took a drink) I cracked up and went on the drink . I was in the Plough in the city centre and met 2 young guys whod just been at a funeral . Their mate had become an addict and took his own life . They were from the Northside but the stories they told me about their class mates , how so many of them were addicts and how theyd become addicts were identical to the ones Id heard round Dolphins barn . So thats were my views on drug dealers and drug abuse come from .

The people dealing in hard drugs round this area now began selling hash , then Es . Thats how the gangs were formed . Now theyre pushing Heroin , coke and God knows what else . The gangs are wealthy , armed and organised . That came from hash . People like yourself who bought hash from them gave them the money for the guns and the pay offs , helped them get popular among no hopers and helped them get organised enough to be confident in dealing heroin now as well . Thats why Im personally against drug use . The same type of person who would lecture me about buying a tracksuit
made in a sweatshop or a ham sandwich that was cruel to animals generally has few qualms about handing their money to such scum .

It was the same when I was in England . Even at college one little prick whod become extremely popular because he could supply hash ended up a getting a string of people hooked on opium and heroin .

My attitude to a dealer of any kind , whether in a hoodie , a hippy or in a Porsche is zero tolerance . I wont give them a shilling , a moment of my time or even piss on them if they were on fire . I wont tolerate one in my company , in my pub or in my estate and thats that . Because the hash dealer today is dealing in death tomorrow , because hes a greedy little heartless no good bastard who likes easy money . Give him an inch and hell take over your estate and the lives of the people in it , thats for damn sure . Thats whats happened all over the entire country because of drug culture , hash and es . Pub owners wont shoot you or burn your partner breasts with cigarettes because you owe him for a few pints . Thats the difference . A pub owner wont serve you a pint and offer you heroin to take the edge of your hangover . Thats the difference .

Theorising over the hypocracy of alcohol abuse is all well and good but pretty fucking useless when theres needles round the kids swings and your areas gone down the tubes and lives in fear . Thats when the situation AND the community demand and need immediate action to be taken , not surveys , what aboutery and other ballsology .

AS for " You intimate that dealers are still been 'told' to get out of areas. Not true as far as I'm concerned but if so cite some instances reported in the media please. You also refuse to concede there has been a significant shift in SF's position on drugs. If the CPAD approch worked why have there been no protests/evictions of late. "

Youd need to ask Sinn Fein themselves why theyve backed off . Being respectable enough to get into government is my own theory . I cant speak for whats going on Dublin , as I pointed out its quite a while since I was in the inner city . But some republicans ( non sinn fein ) are still tackling the dealers in the north at least for sure . Other action has been taken in areas like Cork . A more substantial campaign has gotten off the ground in Derry city with the support of 32csm members which Dublin anti drugs activists have given a lot of advice towards and will continue to do .

Ill post details of these initiatives later as this replys gone on long enough .

author by Shipseapublication date Tue Dec 06, 2005 21:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The immediate, horrendous problem with the realities of drug abuse cant be denied, Barry. But alcohol abuse is critically undermining the moral and other arguments you make yourself about drugs. There is a double standard and the reason pub owners dont think of burning the breasts of women whose partners owe them, is because they can legally earn as much as they like from dealing in alcohol as the pushers do from dealing in drugs.

Young people are being given confusing signals here: drinking alcohol is OK. Taking dope of any kind isnt. It 's not logical or fair to them and if we are serious about tackling drug abuse its an issue we all have to face up to sooner or later, whatever short term measures may be needed to deal with the dealers etc.

author by Barrypublication date Tue Dec 06, 2005 22:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Alcohol can be a horrendous problem , it certainly destroys lives . But society as a whole has deemed its sale and use as socially acceptable . People are prepared to put up with it . Youll have to take that argument up with the people as a whole .
People are prepared to put up with alcohol so they must be prepared to deal with the consequences of it .

Most people , the vast majority , arent prepared to put up with drug dealers wrecking their areas and virtually taking them over . Most people dont want heroin dealing gangs on their doorsteps , aids epidemics and addicts shooting up on their doorsteps . Unfortunately for the last 20 years certain working class districts have been hysterically vilified in the media and by the state for making it clear they werent prepared to put up with it . The state sent the people who campaigned against it to jail and harassed them for years . And as a number of posters here point out drug dealers continue to operate in the open in those areas .

I can guarantee you that if an anti drugs meeting was organised in Dolphins barn tonight Garda time , money and manpower could be found to monitor it , while heroin dealers ply their trade openly a few streets away . I can also guarantee you that if heroin gangs were roaming about Dalkey and Foxrock in the manner they do in Fatima thered be uproar , possibly even firing squads .

. Drugs gangs would not be allowed to do what they do so openly in better off residential areas (Im not suggesting they dont have drug problems either) . However despite the fact they shouldnt have to put up with it working class people are being told they must . That is unacceptable . Working class communities empowering themselves has the state much more concerned and hysterical than the same communities injecting themselves .

People dont want Heroin or dealers in their areas . They should have the right to keep them dealer free . If they want pubs then that is their choice .

author by James - anti-work, socialise-partypublication date Wed Dec 07, 2005 13:26author email themarshometer at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Only slightly related to this topic but felt compelled to contribute.Not all hashish dealers also deal in heroin.I have been buying hash from the same dealer for many years and not once have i been offered anything stronger.This country is currently flooded with marijauna of extrewmely poor qaulity known colloquially as soap bar."Soap Bar" is made in european countrys such as spain and holland by taking morrocan hashish melting it down and combining it with materials ranging from tyre rubber to animal faeces to bulk it out.Irish teenagers are then combining this crap with ciggarettes to make joints.Not only does this greatly increase the health risks involved but it also makes the joint infinitely more addictive.The health consequences of this have not begun to be felt yet, but if the state of my own lungs are anything to go by, they will be severe.If marijuana was legal and people were educated about safer pot use ie using a vaporiser to smoke pure weed we could save the health service a lot of money in the future and there wouldnt be as much blood in my phlegm(although i probably would be just as schizo).Jah bless

author by Adultpublication date Wed Dec 07, 2005 13:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hash smoking is not a horrendous problem, it certainly does not destroy lives. But society as a whole has not deemed its sale and use as socially acceptable. People are not prepared to put up with it. You'll have to take that argument up with the people as a whole.
People are prepared to put up with alcohol so they must be prepared to deal with the consequences of it .

Prohibition USA caused the hoods and crims. Changing the law and acting like a responsible adult nation will expunge the oxygen these scum crave.

author by Barrypublication date Wed Dec 07, 2005 13:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

not giving them any money might be an idea too . if youre that desperate for a smoke grow your own .( for personal use , not wholesale)

author by Spinning Quicklypublication date Wed Dec 07, 2005 17:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Did marching on dealers' homes actually make a difference or did it just move them to another place where they started dealing not long after?

author by Ailish Walshpublication date Thu Dec 08, 2005 23:59author email walsh.ailish at gmail dot comauthor address Galway.author phone Report this post to the editors

The drugs crisis is really getting out of control today. 18 people have been killed in drug gang related feuds this year. Perhaps more needs to be done to encourage education for young people on the risks of certain drugs?

author by Concerned Potsmoker Against Dissidentspublication date Fri Dec 16, 2005 16:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Looks like the 'boys' have been listening to you and following this thread.

'The Continuity IRA has reportedly issued a chilling threat warning drug dealers and other "anti-social elements" to leave the country within 24 hours.
Reports this morning said the organisation had issued the warning to a newspaper last night using a recognised code word.
The Dublin brigade of the dissident republican group reportedly said any drug dealers who had been previously warned had 24 hours to leave the country or face the consequences.
This morning's reports said the caller had indicated that there would be no more "hoaxes or warnings"."

author by kathy - cavan collegepublication date Tue Mar 07, 2006 13:41author email author address author phone Report this post to the editors

have u heard bout the bloke in cavan who killed his own da? well he used to be bang on til he start smokin hash an hearin mad paranoid voices so by no means dont play hash down as some kids playtoy.. its serious shit, drugs are all over the country now something needs to be done and if th IRA want to take charge and do somethin fair play to them..

author by Katepublication date Thu May 25, 2006 14:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Barry are you serious legalising heroin i cannot beleive you said that. Have you ever had a heroin addict in your family or looked after one.You are talking about condoning the problem that is absolute madness.Methadone was meant to be a way of helping addicts but that is just swapping one addiction for another and some of the methadone users are still using other drugs

author by Barrypublication date Thu May 25, 2006 17:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If someone gets addicted to heroin they should be able to get it from their doctor for free . If you had a heroin addict in your family Im sure youd prefer he/she could get treated in this manner rather than having to forage for funds and dealers on the street .

author by MCMpublication date Tue Dec 19, 2006 09:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Methadone is a rank alternative to smack, although its cheap and easy for government to dole out, its actually harder to kick then heroin.

The health authorities, if they haven't started, should be using Buprenorphine preparations, here are some examples of what is now beginning to replace methadone in the US (brand names of Buprenorpine preparations):

Subutex: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Subutex

Suboxone: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=suboxone

Although community citizen efforts to marginalize dealers is good idea, waging a "war on drugs" with law enforcement is not going to make matters better. The US has one of the toughest war on drugs efforts, and all its led to is the highest prison population in the world, and the drugs are still easy to obtain, and law enforcement is corrupted in many cases by all the money involved. It needs to be treated primarly as a medical problem, not a criminal problem.



Also, cannabis I don't believe is a hard drug like alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, and is actually healthy in some ways, I can show legitimate research showing it even helps prevent and treat some cancers, of all things. If you don't believe me, say so and I will start posting links to valid scientific research into this area.

author by jonnypublication date Sun Jul 18, 2010 20:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

no one has wrote a comment on this in a few years and by now the problem is well worse i just have a few things to say about the problem the main main problem is customs that's where all the drugs get in and then distributed so if airports ,ports , small airstrips where supervised by customs they would have some chance. and to Barry if you have a brain in your head heroin should never ever be legal that's so stupid if heroin was available from a doctor every person in the country would be on it like the dole but free gear how would that work and also i don't think that hash or weed should be frowned upon for the simple fact that look at the stats of people who died from drug related problems cannabis is rarely there while alcohol and heroin is the main one and alcohol is sold in shops bars clubs festivals etc . you also said heroin addicts are victims i agree some are but then some are not some choose to take it some wouldn't of had any choice not all dealers would be like what you say some would never even want to be near that stuff it is mainly addicts them selves i my self live in a small area drugs are easily available but not heroin or crack if anything they would be considered as scum for selling around estates. i dont think there is a end to the war on drugs but a solution's is look at softer drugs and work your way up anyone can smoke a few joints and wake up the same i agree it causes health problems but its all down to the person many people who say they are paranoid from hash would be cocaine users also which is more of a cause to paranoia we just need to look at Amsterdam if weed and hash could be sold in shops in city's but no where near schools or anything full of kids then it could be grown properly and sold without the criminal side taxed by the government make money off it use that money to stop real drug problems like heroin , crack , ecstasy and give the gardai something to work with but the main problems lies in the state polticans want to be in the dail gards want to be sergeants no one cares about the real problem and just show on paper they have a made a differnce drugs are still been sold addicts rob for there products and people get killed for drugs.

author by Petra .publication date Sun Jul 18, 2010 22:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree with all of what 'jonny' has been writing about, and more .

I have been writing on another thread ,' D.C.C plays scrooge to its most vunerable citizens',
and with the assistance of Indymedia and Mr Dermot Lacey , Labour Councellor , Rathmines/
Donnybrook area , we have collectivelly addressed certain issues in relation to Dolphin House , Dublin 8 .

This place is run by a 'clique' of outsiders who have quitely feathered their own nest on the
backs of tenants of Dolphin House , the estate manager might as well be at his home address as he 'doesn't want to know' and 'doesn't want to get involved' when the slightest
problem arises , instead of employing local residents within the walls of D.H. 'the clique'
pull their own fwends aboard thereby keeping it in the family ;

The area 'boasts' five Public houses ( 5 ) , another six off licences's ( 6 ) , most of the
public houses can be seen at the weekend frequented by the 'elite' ( sic) , the amount of
'druggies' walking aimlessy around is like a scene form a movie which i wont name ,

Children are being used as mules to deliver 'unprescribed drugs' , the drainage system
is the subject of an ongoing 'we'll do it tomorrow' as we have NO STAFF ( D.C.C ) ,

Unemployment figures in here is at a peak , the political parties dont give a tupenny ****
about the place , they never have and never will , why should they when the tenants
dont give a damn , The 'can brigade' can be seen along the south circular road end of
Rialto , the corpo even got their geographical map wrong when they erected a bronze
statue in the Rialto area , Dolphins Barn is at the top of Cork St , yu hu ,.is there anybody
out there ????

Is it any wonder the place is falling apart , well done 'jonny' you tapped the nail on the head .

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