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An increase in drug related crimes occurred in Co Clare last year.

In 2019, An Garda Síochána dealt with 83 incidents relating to the sale and supply of drugs, last year this rose to 115 representing a 39 percent increase in the yearly figures. Similarly, a 21 percent hike in the amount of persons arrested for possession of drugs was recorded in 2020 as the occurrences went from 234 to 283.

Efforts of Gardaí in continuing to tackle drugs in Clare was praised by Cllr Alan O’Callaghan (FF) at a meeting of the Clare Joint Policing Committee (JPC). He felt that the Gardaí in the county had done “a great job” during the pandemic.

“It is good to see drugs are still being tackled, the number of drug officers increased in recent years which has been a help. Unless your head is buried in the sand we all know it is happening and it is readily available,” the Kilmurry representative added.

Members of the public were urged to contact Gardaí by the former Leas Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council. “I would encourage people if they feel something is wrong not to be afraid to contact An Garda Síochána and report it, if something doesn’t feel right then you’re judgement is probably right. The seconds are vital when you feel something isn’t right”.

Activities in Ashford Court Hotel need to be monitored more closely by Gardaí, Cllr Mary Howard (FG) believed. She told the sitting of the Clare JPC that neighbours were led to believe it would be not for young mothers and their children “but that is not the case anymore”.

She commented, “I have received so many calls from residents, they are afraid to go outside their door. There is a lot of dangerous people inside there who are not supervised, there is drug taking and alcohol consumption going on. I don’t know how the place is being managed or who is running it but it needs to be revisited. Mothers and children locked into their rooms 24 hours a day but then there is someone out in the corridors on drugs, drunk and who is violent”.

Senior executive officer with the housing department of Clare County Council, Siobhán McNulty stated that Ashford Court was “fully managed” and admitted to being “surprised” with the points raised by Cllr Howard. “It is fully managed by Mid-West Simon and is manned 24/7, I’m not receiving these reports into the operation of Ashford Court, if the community has particular concerns they can contact Mid-West Simon or our Homeless Action Team”.

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