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Minister highlights Island’s community initiatives 24 November 2008

Minister, Mrs O'Reilly, Mr MalarkeyHOME Affairs Minister Adrian Earnshaw MHK addressed a meeting of the British-Irish Council in London last week on the misuse of drugs.

The event, staged at the Home Office, focussed on how different jurisdictions were engaging with communities to tackle a range of drug-related issues. It provided a forum for an exchange of views between ministers representing England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

During the meeting Mr Earnshaw highlighted the many initiatives being progressed under the umbrella of the Chief Minister’s Drug and Alcohol Strategy.

He said:

‘It was a very productive meeting and a good opportunity to share our experiences and discuss common problems and solutions. There was a positive response to the community projects taking place in the Island and the success being achieved by our multi-agency approach. In turn, I was able to pick up ideas from other jurisdictions and there were two in particular, which are being developed in Scotland and Guernsey, that we will look into for further consideration.’

Mr Earnshaw was accompanied to the meeting by Margaret O’Reilly, co-ordinator of the Chief Minister’s Drug and Alcohol Strategy.

She said:

‘The British-Irish Council provides a chance for administrations to learn from each other. The Jersey representatives were particularly interested in our recent appointment of Mr Bill Malarkey MHK as a political champion for the Isle of Man’s work in connection with drug and alcohol issues.’

The Manx government is scheduled to host the next British-Irish Council ministerial meeting and Mr Earnshaw said he looked forward to welcoming his colleagues to the Island in November 2009.

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