‘Government must treat narcotics as a public health problem’ – Macra

Calls have been made for the next Government to “treat the use of narcotics in Ireland as a public health problem and not simply a criminal problem”.

This is according to election priorities released by Macra na Feirme today, Thursday, January 30, a total of nine days before the General Election takes place.

The document outlines the rural youth organisation’s stance on 10 different areas affecting young people in rural Ireland.

The 10 areas are:
  • Mental health;
  • Housing;
  • Narcotics;
  • Rural policing;
  • Employment conditions;
  • Commuter transport;
  • Youth services grant;
  • Insurance;
  • Environment;
  • Rural broadband.

The organisation calls for Government expenditure on mental healthcare services to be increased to €100 million and for further spending on early intervention and suicide prevention counselling services.

Also on mental health, Macra has sought that the next Government provides “sustainable funding” for the Macra mental health initiative ‘Make the Moove’ to progress from a pilot in Tipperary to a national initiative.

Commenting on the release of the organisation’s election priorities, Shane Quigley, chair of Macra’s Rural Youth Committee, said: “Rural young people must see proper investment in public transport to ensure that they can remain in rural Ireland and are not forced to move into already crowded urban centres.

“The government must facilitate more work from home opportunities through the roll-out of rural broadband,” he concluded.