Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ireland-Reserve Defence Force should act as Coastal Watch on Drug Smuggling - Stanton

Cork East FG TD David Stanton has long been recognised as a very able public representitive and creative thinker. He has now turned his attention to the problem of drug smuggling along the Irish coast.

The coastline of the Republic Ireland is 5100 kilometers long. Policing this is a nightmare .The bays and harbours and coves in the South West and West provide favourable terrain for drug smugglers. Drug seizures by the authorities are probably only the tip of the iceberg.
The following is the text of a press release from Fine Gael:

Fine Gael East Cork TD, David Stanton, said today (Tuesday) that with vast amount of drugs being smuggled ashore in Ireland, especially in remote areas, the Reserve Defence Force, formerly the FCA, should be used as a coastal watch.
Deputy Stanton made his proposal in the Dáil last week to the Minister for Defence and received a response that it would be discussed with the appropriate authorities.
"4,731 Reserve Defence Force personnel took part in annual training to date this year according to a response made in the Dail to me by the Defence Minister.
"This is a massive untapped resource and, if a fraction of these soldiers were used around our coast in remote areas to keep watch and to alert the Gardai to suspicious activities, a blow could be struck in the fight against drug smuggling. Using the Army Reserves for such a task, I believe, would be helpful in uncovering smuggling activities that are undoubtedly going on and would also act as a deterrent to such activities in the long run.
"Appropriate training would have to be given to the soldiers and their role would be strictly to observe and to report to the Gardaí. Such intelligence that might be gathered would be of immense use in the fight against drugs being smuggled into the State at remote locations.
"I am delighted that the Minister has agreed to discuss my suggestion with the authorities and I look forward to a further report from the Minister on the matter."

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