Cllr Pearse McGeough Welcomes Drug Seizure in Louth

Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough has welcomed the seizure of an estimated €1 million of cannabis herb at Collon and subsequent follow up searches of properties in Ardee and Slane.

Cllr McGeough who is also Chair of the Joint Policing Committee for mid-Louth said “this is a great start. There is more work to be done but this is very significant and has taken €1 million worth of drugs off our streets. I welcome the find and want to commend those involved in the operation which was a result of a Cross-border Joint Action Force. It’s only through co-operation north and south and together with communities that we can tackle crime effectively.”

Cllr McGeough also took the opportunity to encourage the public “to attend the upcoming meeting of the Joint Policing Committee which is open to all.  We are holding it at 8pm on Thursday 4th October at the Grove Hotel in Dunleer. This is our community and we all have a say in how it is policed going forward.”

The meeting in Dunleer covers the areas of Ardee, Dunleer and Clogherhead Garda districts.

There will be a similar meeting in Drogheda on Monday evening 1st October at 8pm in the D Hotel for the Drogheda South Louth area and on Tuesday 2nd October at 8pm at the Four Seasons Hotel in Carlingford for the Dundalk North Louth area.

Cllr McGeough said “there will be presentations from An Garda Siochana and the Local Authority and an interesting one on cyber crime which is on the increase and affects all of us. The public will get a chance to ask questions or to raise issues so please, whatever part of Louth you are from, please try and attend the meeting in your area. This drugs seizure was a good start, but there’s still work to be done so let’s do it together as a community.”

Local Activist Warns of Drug Paraphernalia

Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú and activist Eugene Garvey pictured at a previous dumping incident

Local Sinn Féin activist Eugene Garvey from St Nicholas’ Avenue area has advised residents in the area to resist the temptation to dispose of any drug paraphernalia they might come across.

Speaking today from the area, Eugene Garvey said “In this good weather we have a lot of people using the path down by the river for walking their dogs or just out enjoying the good weather. Unfortunately they aren’t the only people using the path and some drug paraphernalia was found there today at the green. There are needles present which can be very dangerous if you accidently prick yourself attempting to clean them up.”

Mr Garvey contacted Louth County Council and has been advised that they will ‘get it cleaned up as soon as possible’.

Drug paraphernalia found today

Garvey who lives in the area said “St Nicholas Avenue is a great place to live, the residents look after their area and any dumping of unwanted paraphernalia or rubbish will be reported and followed up on. I would ask residents that if anyone sees anyone dumping anything, to please contact Louth County Council immediately.”

Do not attempt to dispose of it yourself

Cllr Ó Murchú Welcomes CAB Role in Louth

Sinn Féin Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has warmly welcomed the clarification about the role of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) at Monday’s joint meeting of the Louth Policing Committees.

Speaking after a private meeting with representatives of CAB, Cllr. Ó Murchú said he was pleased with the accessibility of the bureau outlined at the meeting by Chief Superintendent Patrick Clavin.

Cllr Ó Murchú said “We have a serious problem with organised drug gangs across this county and in particular, Dundalk and Drogheda. The community suffers terribly from the drug dealing, intimidation, arson and the violence of these gangs.  Their extortionate means of drug debt recovery from the families of addicts, backed up with brutality and terror is a huge issue. CAB has operated over the years as a serious tool against organised crime and I welcome any measures that can be taken.

He said: “I was particularly pleased to note that the threshold of assets that can be seized by CAB has been lowered to €5,000 which means that so-called ‘small-time drug dealers’ can also be targeted.”

Councillor Ó Murchú was also concerned “about the figures presented which revealed that Louth has the third highest number of CAB targets in the state after the greater Dublin area and Limerick, which obviously has serious implications for Garda resources in the county.

“To hear Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan frankly admit that he told the Justice Minister as recently as Monday that the budget he has this year is ‘grossly insufficient’ to do what he has to do, is truly shocking and is something that I have already raised with the Sinn Féin team in Leinster House.

“I would hope that we could see the Criminal Assets Bureau operating locally in co-operation with the Gardaí. Successful Garda arrest operations can be difficult in a ‘subcontracted criminal enterprise’ where main players use vulnerable people as their ‘cut outs’ and keep themselves ‘clean’. Many drug dealers are living cash rich and many without intricate money laundering systems and so we would hope this weak point could be used by CAB to disrupt, impact and possibly shut down some of their operations.

“I am also encouraged by the fact the CAB was able to give several reassurances that not only will they take the information they receive seriously but that no-one will have to go to court to give evidence.”

CAB can be contacted on email at ino@cab.ie or at 01 6663266

Kevin Meenan Welcomes Arrest of Drug-Dealers

Sean-240x300Following 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
  • Extortion
  • 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.”

 

Adams welcomes anti-drugs arrests in Dundalk

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has welcomed the Garda operation against suspected drug dealers in the Dundalk area which has seen the seizure of heroin, cocaine, cannabis and prescription drugs.

Teachta Adams said;

“This is not the first operation of this kind by An Garda Síochána against suspected drug dealers in the Dundalk area. Some of those targeted have been arrested before in similar operations.

While this action will be welcomed by Dundalk citizens there is however a concern at the lack of resources allocated to the Gardaí in Dundalk to properly address the sale and supply of drugs in the town.

The scourge of drugs requires a multi-agency approach and a special anti-drugs task force for the North Louth area, including Dundalk. This is imperative to confront the drugs issue in Dundalk, as well as any cross border distribution of drugs.

“I will raising this matter with the Justice Minister at the earliest opportunity.”