Following the arrest of several drug dealers yesterday in Dundalk, Cllr Kevin Meenan has welcomed the news saying that ‘key players’ were arrested along with lower level players.
Speaking at length on the Michael Reade Show on Wednesday, Kevin Meenan outlined the impact on the community that the scourge of drugs can have, and the effect on family around the person.
“I am encouraged by the fact that it was an undercover operation and not just the usual dramatic raids which can be predictable, yesterday’s events are welcomed by the community and myself. I am delighted to hear of the arrests and that there will be more. This is what the community has been crying out for for a long time and hopefully this is the first of many steps they are going to take in relation to the problem.”
“The usual suspects, for want of a better term, have been hit and there are different grades. We have seen one or two key players and those working underneath them. They are not the organised crime gangs you would see in Dublin but if yesterday’s measures weren’t taken, that is what you would end up with. It’s good to get in and dismantle any kind of organised apparatus they may have at his early stage.”
Cllr Meenan talked about the misery that surrounds the drug culture.
“The vast majority of crimes in Dundalk could probably be pinned down to being drug related”.
- People with drug problems could steal to pay back drug debts.
- People on drugs are living in misery also. Family members may be in a position to have to purchase drugs
- Blackmailed into selling drugs i.e. holding drugs in your house and then accused of taking some
- House fires as a result of dealers pressurising their ‘staff’ to continue selling
Cllr Meenan said “Not everyone consciously goes in to become drug dealers – Some do, and these are the ones who would never take drugs themselves, they drive flashy cars and are awash with money. It is those who work for them are usually addicts and don’t enjoy the cash end of things because all they are doing is selling to pay for their habit.”
Looking to the future, Kevin Meenan said “yesterday was just one strand of dealing with the problem, we have to educate young people on how easy it is to get drawn in to the whole culture. Even a simple thing like taking drugs into your house for a night could see you blackmailed into selling drugs a year later. This is what happens young people. They are being targeted if they are vulnerable, or perhaps from a home that wouldn’t have a lot of money, we have to look at the social problems too.”
“I have often been puzzled as to who gets involved in drugs. People I grew up with, who hung around the fringes have gotten involved. You can probably say that, yes, it was predictable that they went down that road, but some people have become serious heroin users that are not so obvious. It’s not necessarily your background. There are people I have seen with horrific backgrounds and have got involved the same as people who come from fantastic backgrounds have also got involved. Good families who have one member who has gone down that road and suffered the consequences for that and near enough brought their whole family down with them.
“So, people get involved with taking drugs for various reasons but it’s not exactly clear in terms of who”
“The message is out there that these drugs are highly addictive but we all see addicts walking around and we know they are on something, their clothes, they go downhill, they can’t talk properly, speech is slurred”.
“I have shown my own daughter the effect of drugs as they come up to me for help. It’s so easy to overdose on these drugs also”
“The realty is, to deal with the scourge of drugs we require a multi-agency approach and a special anti-drugs task force for the North Louth area. This is imperative to confront the drugs issue in Dundalk as well as any cross-border distribution of drugs.”