September 27, 2021

‘Drugs are everywhere in Waterford – cocaine, ecstasy, MDMA and now crack’

A meeting between Gardai and local publicans has heard how illegal drugs are ‘everywhere’ in Waterford.

“It is not just in big towns now. It’s everywhere, unfortunately,” the Divisional Drugs Unit’s Sgt Gavin Sheahan told the 30 publicans who gathered in Waterford city last week to discuss the situation.

“We’re never going to eradicate it, but if we can just try and confine it,” he adds.

The meeting was organised by Waterford City Safe and Purple Flag initiatives, the latter of which is an international accreditation scheme for towns and city centres at night.

Sgt Sheahan also described how crack cocaine has now started to rear its ugly head in the city.

“Unfortunately people think it’s just in Dublin and Cork. It’s not.”

Research released recently by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) revealed that drug crime is rising faster outside of the capital, as dealers target regional towns and cities as the country’s economy continues to recover.

According to the CSO stats, drug offences in Dungarvan alone increased 142% between 2015 and 2018, while Tramore saw a rise of 144%.

Meanwhile, Waterford city remained constant with a light increase from 247 incidents in 2015 to 252 in 2018.

“A gram (of cocaine) costs about €50-€80. The average purity is 15-20%, which is the highest it has been for the past 15-20 years,” he added.

The meeting also heard how students prefer ecstasy and MDMA, while Ketamine, a horse tranquliser, is widely used.

Sgt Sheahan went on to describe how Marijuana is the most popular drug but that it has moved on from substance that was available previously.

“Hashish was the drug 20 years ago, [but] you’d never see resin, that brown or black substance, anymore.” It almost always comes as “a leafy material . . . it looks like dried parsley”.

He also said that heroin is “the dirtiest drug of the whole lot”.

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