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Drink and drug driving on the rise in Clare

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More motorists are being caught by Gardaí for drink and drug driving in Co Clare.

At last week’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee, Supt Brendan McDonagh revealed, “Drug and drink driving is up a whopping 100% in the county and 91% in the Ennis district”. Meanwhile such detections in Kilrush are up from 1 in 2018 to 11 in 2019 (800 percent). McDonagh warned “drug testing can be done at anytime, day or night”.

Fianna Fáil councillor Alan O’Callaghan observed, “It is good to see the drug detection rate is being brought to the fore and needs to be addressed on an ongoing basis”. Fine Gael’s John Crowe noted, “Every village in the county has a serious drug problem and as residents for villages we can see that ourselves”.

In response, Supt McDonagh stated, “Certainly, we have seen a big increase and that’s why we have the unit in Clare and will continue to keep it turning over because as you can see the results are coming in”.

Across the board, there have been more arrests for sale, supply and possession of drugs in Clare. Cases of possession with the intent of selling are up by 100 percent (Clare), 200 percent (Kilrush) and 91 percent (Ennis).

Possession of drugs rose by 76 percent (Clare), 150 percent (Kilrush) and 66 percent (Ennis). More searches under the misuse of Drugs Act have occurred in 2019 (313) compared with 2018 (246).

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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