Louth judge calls for help from local TDs to set up drugs court
Judge John Coughlan has called on local TDs and politicians to support his efforts to establish a drugs court in County Louth.
The judge – who said he hoped to set up one locally when he became the new sitting judge in the district earlier this year, replacing Judge Flann Brennan, has described Louth as being in the stone-age because of the lack of a drugs court in the district.
The Drug Treatment Court Programme which operates in Dublin, is aimed at drug addicts who come before the District Court on minor criminal charges linked to their addiction and who either plead guilty to or have been convicted of the offence.
Those chosen to take part following a short assessment phase, are people over 17 years of age who live in Dublin and who are serious about wanting to tackle their drug habit and undergo treatment.
The team involved in helping support the participants includes a liaison nurse, a probation officer, an education coordinator, gardaí working at the drug treatment court and others who can help the addicts taking part.
Judge Coughlan has repeatedly spoken from the bench about is plans to set up a drugs court in Louth.
He has said the Probation Service is supportive locally but no funding is available from the service nationally to fund it.
Speaking in Dundalk district court last Wednesday he said that he is prepared to spend a bit of extra time getting the court up and running and has claimed that the addicts who appear before him could be clean within six months of it being established
In one case he asked "Are there any politicians in County Louth that would have a bit of go about them? Gerry Adams - or someone like that? Someone who gets things done".