'Decent' people funding drug gangs, says former Assistant Garda Commissioner

'Decent' people funding drug gangs, says former Assistant Garda Commissioner

A former Assistant Garda Commissioner who is now executive director of a major international anti-drugs organisation has described gang members involved in drugs in Ireland as “guys who are nobody, who want to become somebody by getting involved in the drug market”.

Michael O’Sullivan, executive director of Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre, which frequently seizes large quantities of drugs, warned that “decent” people who buy cocaine are “increasing the flow of power and funnelling finances to these gangsters.”

He told RTE radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show that it was not just “down and outs in alleyways” who were using drugs.

He said the increase in disposable income has led to an increase in drug use.

Mr O’Sullivan, who is now based in Lisbon, said that the increase in drug use meant more money was available to fuel more violence and more firearms.

Being involved in the drug market “goes to their head”.

There are a lot of thugs going around, nobodies trying to become somebodies. They tend to think they’re invincible.

Mr O’Sullivan also cautioned that when resources are reduced “criminals seize that gap, that vacuum.”

It’s important to keep pressure on the criminals, he added.

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