Olympic medallist Egan wants drugs cash spent on protecting youngsters
Kenneth Egan. Photo: Steve Humphreys
February 15 2021 02:30 AM
Olympic silver-medallist boxer, Kenneth Egan, wants the Government to ring-fence cash seized from criminal drug barons and use it exclusively for programmes to keep vulnerable youths away from addiction.
The Fine Gael councillor said cash amounts seized by the gardaí are on the increase, from €7.44m in 2019, to over €16m in 2020, and over €2m was seized so far in January 2021 alone. The South Dublin Council representative, based in Clondalkin, believes the money could greatly help troubled young people avoiding involvement in drugs.
Mr Egan’s call has been supported by party colleague, Deputy Neal Richmond, who agreed to take a private members’ motion to the Dáil. Mr Richmond, who represents Dublin Rathdown, said the seized funds could provide for programmes to protect youngsters being recruited by drug criminals to sell on the streets.
“The Gardaí and the Criminal Assets Bureau do stellar work in ensuring that crime does not pay by seizing the proceeds of crime.
“However, instead of this cash returning to the exchequer for general spending as is current Government policy, they should be put to good use to support communities and prevent young people from turning to crime in the first instance,” the Fine Gael TD said.
“It would be brilliant to see this crime cash used for addiction counsellors, social workers, youth diversion programmes, training courses, and education schemes,” Mr Richmond added.
Mr Egan said this approach was already working in countries like France and New Zealand and can work in Ireland also. The All Ireland champion boxer won many honours nationally and won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing after a controversial final in which he was deemed unlucky to lose gold.
Since his retirement from boxing he has qualified as a counsellor and helps people with substance addiction, and other life problems. His practice is based in his native Clondalkin which he has represented on Dublin South County Council since 2014.