Gardaí have confirmed that a child recently found four bags of heroin in Cork city, writes Kelly O'Brien of the Evening Echo.
The child brought the heroin back to his house in Mahon and it was later handed in to gardaí.
Garda Sergeant Fergus Twomey says tackling drug use in the area is an ongoing battle. He said heroin use, in particular, is on the rise.
Drug parties and syringes being thrown into back gardens are among the problems that residents have reported. In one case, a resident has found 11 syringes in his back garden, over time.
Sergeant Twomey said: “Heroin is a scourge on not only this community but every community across the country. I go to the inquests at the coroner’s court every Thursday and I’ve seen a huge upsurge in relation to the amount of deaths due to heroin use and polydrug use, which is multi-drug use or drugs combined with alcohol. It’s still there, and more so than it was last year or the year before.”
According to the latest Garda figures, there has been a marked increase in drug detections in the area in the last few months.
“We’re up 10% year-on-year in relation to detections for dealing. It’s still there, still on the radar. We’re targeting it and have searched a number of houses over the last week around Blackrock and Mahon,” said Sgt Twomey.
Sgt Twomey added: “It’s not something that can be fixed in 24-hours, but it is something that we’re strenuously trying to fix and if we get information about any anti-social behaviour or drug activity or drug dealing or selling, we’re all over it and we don’t tolerate it. But it’s a matter of getting evidence.
“I can assure you it’s not for a lack of trying on the part of the Gardaí. It is an ongoing operation.”
One resident admitted they were “completely frustrated” with the situation and sick of “living in fear”.
They claimed their particular estate has a drug den which sees raging parties from morning to night.
“There’s loads of heroin going on. Every morning at 9am, it’s ‘boom, boom, boom’ and they’re going in the door and getting wrecked off their heads on heroin,” they said.
“What does it take? Does a child have to die before anyone does something about this?”
Sgt Twomey confirmed the Gardaí were aware of the house in question, and that they are monitoring the situation.
He encouraged members of the public to contact their local gardaí with any information about drug use or anti-social behaviour in their area.
He said even a seemingly insignificant piece of information may prove vital.
This article first appeared in today's Evening Echo.