The NUIG SU President has called the actions of students who sell drugs “wrong and unjustified”, after a court was told students in Galway are selling drugs to fund college.
“It’s extremely unfortunate and disappointing to hear that the financial pressures placed on these third level students as they pursue their education has forced them to look outside the law in order to fund themselves,” said NUIG SU President Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh.
“However it is simply wrong and unjustified for someone to undertake illegal activities as a means of income,” he continued.
Reports from the Connacht Tribune said Judge Mary Fahy expressed concern over the rising number of college students she has had to deal with in court in relation to drug dealing offences. She issued a warning that they can no longer expect to not be convicted just because they are students.
“There cannot be ‘carte blanche’ for students to act in this manner. They are educated and privileged. They are the people getting the opportunities and there will be no more opportunities for them to remain conviction-free,” said Judge Fahy.
Of the three students who were charged in unrelated instances, one received a six-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to having over €4,000 worth of cannabis for sale or supply in 2016 as well as €2,000 in cash.
Another student was allegedly caught with ecstasy, Ketamine, cannabis, and €575 cash. The third student allegedly knowingly signed for a package containing €1,936 worth of cannabis in 2016.
Ó Maoileannaigh said NUIG was already in the process of changing its drug policy before this situation, but did not comment on what changes were being made.
DCU SU President Niall Behan said drug-dealing students are taking a huge personal risk with both their academics and potential arrest and charges: “No matter what your views are on drugs – they are illegal in Ireland and students that are saying they need to sell them to get through college seems like a cop out.
“Along with countless others I funded myself through university by working in bars, restaurants and shops and to say that you have no other option than to sell drugs simply isn’t true.
“All of us at DCUSU would advise any student who may consider this their only option that there are always jobs out there for students and to not take such a huge risk.”
Image Credit: Mark Carroll