*Photograph: An Garda Síochána
Drugs are “affecting every crossroad” in Co Clare, Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran has stated while a Clare TD has said they can purchased in every housing estate.
A 36 percent increase in simple possession of drugs offences dealt with by Gardaí in Co Clare has been noted from January to September of this year compared with 2019 figures. From the same period, there has been a 27 percent rise in the amount of arrests relating to the sale and supply of drugs in the county.
Speaking at a meeting of the Clare Joint Policing Committee, Clare TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) praised the Gardaí for the increased detections. “I think drugs are the catalyst for many of the crimes reported today. In every housing estate, you can buy drugs, it is a real scourge on our society. Hutch and Kinahan demand the headlines but there is a lot of it going on in our county”. He suggested that a mini Criminal Assets Bureau equivalent be considered for Clare.
“Drugs are rampant throughout this country and county, I know the people pushing them in estates in Ennis and so do the Gardaí,” Cllr Pat Daly (FF) admitted. He questioned Garda officials to gauge their view on whether the amount of drug-taking in Clare could be reduced.
Chief Supt Seán Colleran told the meeting, “Drugs affects every crossroad in the country, every grouping is affected. The good thing is we’re dealing with it. The reality is drugs are a huge issue, anyone who says it is not is not aware of the current issues”. He confirmed that “a lot of liaising” is already ongoing with Clare County Council regarding drug-related activities at estates owned by the local authority.
Responding to this, Deputy Crowe commented, “I would ask that where a conviction is made against someone living in a Council house that the keys be taken off them”. He referenced the waiting list for social housing in Clare and said that “over a thousand people” are on it and believed such an approach would be beneficial.