'I took drugs in Amsterdam' - Minister
The newly-appointed minister for drugs, Aodhan O'Riordain, has admitted he took drugs once while on a trip to Amsterdam, where certain substances are legal.
He did not specify what drugs he took but Mr O'Riordain (pictured) insisted he did not break the law.
"I have never taken any illegal drugs. I have seen the effects of drugs in my teaching life and in my community activism," he said.
"When you see what drugs do, they have stolen generations and you see the effects it has on children. It passes on huge problems which they have for the rest of their lives," he added.
"My own personal decision and what I have done in my own private life in not ever taking any illegal drugs is fuelled by my experiences," he said.
"I didn't break the law. I was a student, I was in Amsterdam, it was the weekend. I am not a smoker. I do what most students do," he added.
Having been appointed by Tanaiste Joan Burton at lunchtime yesterday, he is now a junior of state in three departments - Justice, Health and Arts.
"I have a long association with this issue. Previously as a primary school teacher in the north inner city where there is acute disadvantage, I came face to face with the issue," he said.
"This is not an issue that just hurts one part of Ireland, it hurts every part."