Tormey takes on Lord Mayor Gerry Breen and the Herald’s Ian Mallon on addicts and their humanity.

Tonight, I read in the Evening Herald that “Mayor’s call to move the junkies from our centre.” There is no way that I can support that objective. Personally I abhor populism and reactionary bleating. I support the National Drugs Strategy. For years I have said and written that the drugs war has been lost worldwide and is doing huge harm. Methadone kills many more people per year than heroin in this city. Methadone prevents crime and not the opposite. Addicts are easy targets. Stealing and petty crime in the city centre is bound to go up in a society plunged into deep recession with burgeoning unemployment and family misery. As well as the Lord mayor, the same page has Ian mallon writing “Why do we listen to the ‘right-on’ liberals who shriek in the most one-eyed terms about “society’s most vulnerable and alienated”?

Well Messrs Breen and Mallon, I refer you to the biblical quotations below.
My mother and some of the school teachers in Marian College imbued me with the ideas of equality, misfortune/good fortune and social justice. I know that that same school influenced Marc Coleman of Newstalk and Diarmuid Martin Archbishop of Dublin. Fr Eric Guiry SJ visited the school to talk about Christian fundamentals. We were brought up to resist white racism and international imperialism. I have already written about my life’s influences. I am not blind to human misery. Addictions are powerful driving and destructive forces. Every part of Irish society is afflicted. We should all play our parts in dealing with this problem. In see addicted people and derelict lives not scumbags and human detritus. I supported the Drugs Treatment and councelling services in my own electoral area of Finglas and Ballymun. I suffered at the polls as a result but I had no problem shaving in the morning. Had I taken the opposite slimy populist stance, I would have got many more votes but would never have been able to live with myself. Mallon’s hyperbolic scaremongering headed “We need to stop these drug zombies before our city turns into The Wire” speaks (shouts) for itself. Shameful intolerant bile. I copy both pieces below for ease of access.

Every councillor should indicate where addiction treatment centres should be located in their local areas. Finglas and Ballymun has treatment centres whose existence is often opposed by residents. When there is disorder or trouble at the centres, as happens sometimes, the Gardai come quickly because they understand the problems and are committed in their support in Finglas and Ballymun. I should publicly state that Dessie Ellis SF has been consistently constructive in this area and I salute him for that. He too has lost votes on the issue. Both FF TDs Pat Carey and Noel Ahern have been involved at governmental level in the national drugs strategy. Both have clearly modified their personal attitudes in the light of experience. That should be acknowledged.

I do follow a philosophy of human rights where I can. The New Testament bible has had influence and I quote from Scripture. Those who know my view on religions can smile but I am serious. The basic philosophy of decency laid out in the Beatitudes and in Matthew 6 and 7 are admirable. I hold up my hand as a sinner.

I also know full well that the FG group Leader on Dublin City Council should/ought to support the Lord Mayor. I have my own version of “Faith and Morals”. These differ from Messrs Breen and Mallon.

The Beatitudes

  1. “Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down.
  2. “His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying:
  3. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  4. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  5. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
  6. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
  7. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
  8. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
  9. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
  10. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  11. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
  12. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 6
Giving to the Needy

  1. Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
  2. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
  3. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Matthew 7
Judging Others

  1. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
  2. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
  3. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
  4. How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
  5. You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
  6. “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

Monday September 20 2010

THE Lord Mayor of Dublin is taking on the problem of drug addicts on our city streets.
Gerry Breen is suggesting that drug treatment centres should be moved from their current locations where they are concentrated around the city centre.
He argued that drug addicts were turning parts of the city centre into a ghetto and no-go areas and called fortreatment centres to be more evenly spread into the suburbs.
He also called on the Government to speed up laws that would allow gardai to arrest people for begging.
“We shouldn’t ghettoise people on drug treatment programmes into the city centre,” he said. Mr Breen believes that bringing thousands of addicts into one area is also turning them into easy prey for drug pushers.
“There are parts of the northside that are very hard to walk without encountering people with a drug problem or begging,” he said.
He is holding talks with the HSE this week during which he will ask that they consider spreading treatment centres around the suburbs, giving pharmacies more functions and operating mobile methadone vans.
“We need to make the city centre a place where 13-year-olds feel safe coming to shop, where families and older citizens feel safe,” Mr Breen said.
“They house them in hostels and B&Bs and then they are dumped out on the street in the mornings and have nowhere to go. The homeless are doing most of the begging,” he said.
Two of the city centre’s main stations — Pearse Street and Store Street — are said to be under severe pressure dealing with relatively petty crimes such as larceny and public disorder.
The idea has been attacked by junior minister Pat Carey who claimed the Lord Mayor was adopting an “out of sight, out of mind approach to drug rehabilitation”.
“This sort of attitude is disappointing and runs totally contrary to the spirit of the National Drugs Strategy. That strategy, which Dublin City Council is helping to implement, is all about communities accepting responsibility,” Mr Carey said.
“It is certainly not about shunting people and their problems to the suburbs or ghettoising our drug problem.”
Mr Breen has called on the Government to speed up the introduction of new measures aimed at deterring begging.
The Fine Gael politician has said that political opposition should not delay the processing of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Bill 2010.
The new laws will make it an offence to beg within 10 metres of a business premises.
Mr Breen believes that begging in Dublin is now “organised and on a commercial level”.
Ian Mallon: We need to stop these drug zombies before our city turns into The Wire By Ian Mallon Monday September 20 2010 EVERY day hundreds of junkies arrive in Dublin city centre, turning our once-proud and great north inner city into a menacing Zombieland.
The results of such a daily onslaught are stark, with muggings up 300pc and the rate of assaults and public disorder on the rise.
In effect we are alienating the honest and decent members of society in the city centre’s thoroughfares to accommodate the “Living Dead” as they arrive in swarms for their daily fix.

You can see it if you stand on Talbot Street and watch wave after wave of spaced out heroin addicts weave through the city centre.
If the weather is good, Heaven help us. Like wasps they descend even earlier in the day and angrier than before, still smacked out of it from the previous night.
I often wonder what tourists to our city make of all this. Certainly, I have never seen the likes of it in the centre of any tourist destination I’ve visited. And remember Dublin sells itself as a holiday destination.
The blame for the congregation of so many addicts are the methadone clinics peppered arond central Dublin.
One man who appears determined to tackle the problem is Lord Mayor Gerry Breen.
“As a city centre, we have a problem,” warns Mayor Breen.
“There are parts of the northside that are very hard to walk without encountering people with a drug problem or begging.”
So why do we allow it to happen?
Why do we listen to the ‘right-on’ liberals who shriek in the most one-eyed terms about “society’s most vulnerable and alienated”?
Well, at last our city has a mayor who has the balls to stand up to these people, on behalf of you, the citizen.
Of course the politically correct won’t be happy until we’re like Baltimore, Maryland, infamous for its spiralling drug problems thanks to HBO’s brilliant TV series, The Wire.
The most accurate statistics available from Baltimore shows that a staggering 60,000 junkies are in its city centre at any given time.
Like anything that the HSE runs, the location of the methadone clinics is a disgrace. They are seriously affecting business and tourism.
Why can’t local pharmacies or mobile clinics hand out the methadone and give the city centre back to the citizens and the tourists who visit our city.
Is this something that we really want here?
– Ian Mallon