August 4, 2021

‘Large scale criminal gangs’ pushing deadly drugs in Waterford: councillor

West Waterford is suffering from a growing drug problem that is not being addressed, a local councillor has claimed.

Sinn Féin’s Conor D. McGuinness said large scale criminals gangs are “pushing” extremely dangerous and addictive drugs in the area.

And he argued that securing convictions for minor infringements are drawing scarce resources from tackling more serious drug dealing.

Cllr McGuinness said: “Drug abuse and dealing is not just a problem in our cities, there is scarcely a village or town in Ireland where drugs are not readily available. Recent CSO figures show a marked increase in drug offences in the Dungarvan Garda Division with figures up by 142% on last year.”

The young Dungarvan-based councillor, who is also a member of the Joint Policing Committee, said not enough is being done to tackle the root causes of drug-taking, addiction and drug dealing.

“Anecdotally we know that heroin, cocaine and ketamine are being dealt locally and gardaí report that crack cocaine is now being dealt in Waterford,” he said.

“At the same time we see youngsters being prosecuted in the courts for possession of very small amounts of cannabis for personal use. This does not strike me as an efficient or effective use of scarce resources when we have large scale criminal networks pushing extremely damaging and addictive drugs locally.”

Cllr McGuinness (pictured below) has urged the Government to increase funding to the regional drug and alcohol forums, ensuring local communities have the tools to fight the drugs problem.

The Joint Policing Committee will hold a public meeting in the Park Hotel, Dungarvan on Monday, November 25 at 7pm.

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