Government adviser’s cocaine snorting allegations – so who are the public figures at centre of drug claims?
• 4h ago
Public figures are criticising drug gangs but snorting cocaine on nights out, a Government official claimed.
Anne-Marie McNally said “public figures” are making statements about communities being devastated by drugs “while I know for a fact they snort their way through nights out”.
This would commonly be interpreted as street slang for taking cocaine or other Class A drugs which are ingested through the nostrils.
She said “certain public figures pretending to be working-class heroes while their private actions continue to help decimate communities”.
Ms McNally works in Fine Gael minister Heather Humphreys’ department, which plays a key role in combating drugs.
Justice Minister Simon Harris has called on anyone with information of drug taking to pass it to gardaí. But the Government is refusing to say whether this specific information on these “certain public figures” taking drugs has been provided to gardaí.
Ms Humphreys and her junior minister, Joe O’Brien, are declining to say whether they have been briefed by the adviser. The comments were made by Ms McNally after Mr Harris recently criticised casual drug use as a source of funding for gangland crime.
Mr Harris told the Dáil: “There is a direct link between snorting a line or taking a pill and murder, assault, criminality and misery.
“Drug use on a Friday or a Saturday night is funding and supporting violence, crime, murders the next week.
“You are helping to line the pockets of criminals, who are inflicting misery and pain on communities across our country.
Related video: Police search for three men after more than 300kg of cocaine found (9News.com.au)
“We need to get real about this, drug use is not victimless, far from it.”
Agreeing with Mr Harris’s sentiments, Ms McNally referred to “certain public figures pretending to be working-class heroes while their private actions continue to help decimate communities” as “soapbox self-serving hypocrites”.
“I am sick of listening to talking heads going on about how they’re from working-class communities and doing emotional interviews about how much they care about those communities and disadvantage, etc, while I know for a fact they snort their way through nights out,” she said on Twitter.
Despite the fact she was responding to Mr Harris’s current comments, and making a statement in the present tense, when contacted by the Irish Independent for comment, Ms McNally claimed she was talking about past events more than a decade ago.
“It’s a reference to a previous life when I worked in the sector.
“When I worked in the community sector, it was an issue,” she said.
Ms McNally says she last worked in that sector in 2012. She declined to name the “public figures” she was referring to.
Currently she is listed by the Government Information Service in the Department of the Taoiseach as a Government press contact and Special Adviser to the Minister of State, Mr O’Brien, who is a Green Party TD.
She was a founding member of the Social Democrats and was a “key strategic adviser to party leadership”, as well as being a general election candidate.
The Department of Rural and Community Development issued a one-line response to queries from the Irish Independent: “In relation to the tweets below, these tweets are from a personal account, not a departmental account.”
The department did not answer questions about whether information on the drug consumption was provided to gardaí or if the Ms Humphreys or Mr O’Brien has been briefed on the public figures being referred to.
There is no suggestion Ms Humphreys or Mr O’Brien would be engaged in such activity.