Drug dealers are openly offering bags of heroin to young students for free, according to a Meath councillor who wants to stop small gangs from taking over a community.
Independent Cllr Alan Lawes is organising a public meeting in Johnstown, Navan to take action against "scumbags" who, he says, are brazenly dealing near local schools and shops.
He claims teenagers as young as 13 years old are being offered taster bags of heroin in an effort to get them hooked.
In a post on social media he says: "I have lived in Johnstown now for nearly 20 years. In that time I have got to know many great people. They are scattered all around the different estates in the community.
"They volunteer on school boards with the GAA and soccer teams, boxing clubs and Tidy Towns and enter Pride of Place competitions - all with the intention of making Johnstown a better place to live for all of us.
"Then we have the small minority that give Johnstown a bad name.
"They have been seen offering children heroin in the open, in front of the shopping centre and near the school
"We all know who they are and as a community we need to work together to rid our community of this vermin. I am appealing to parents in the community to work with the gardaí and ring the gardaí on their Confidential phone number 1800666111 and give them any information they have.
"We can't allow this small group of scumbags to take over and ruin a very good community.
"In the meantime if you have any information, pass it to the gardaí or to me and let's together take our community back from the small group of scu bags who are intent on ruining a great community."
A public meeting is being organised for the coming weeks.
"The reaction has been phenomenal and I'm organising a public meeting to see how we can stop this," said Cllr Lawes.
"I'm a member of the local Tidy Towns and have found used syringes on numerous occasions. It's heroin, for God's sake, and it's being offered to our young children - who are at an experimental age as it is - for free.
"They feel like they own this area and can deal openly. We have to act and stop this. We are a community of 10,000 people and the dealers are just a handful. We have to be the eyes and ears of the gardaí and report any suspicious car, registration, activity, no matter how small.
"We have to sit on these guys before innocent children get hooked on this stuff."
Meath Crime Prevention Officer Sgt Dean Kerins said: "Navan has a dedicated divisional drug unit who are very active. If someone sees any dealing or any suspicious activity, I'd advise them to contact the unit immediately.
"If they don't want to be identified, please ring the Garda Confidential line which is there to protect people or else contact us through private message at the Meath Crime Prevention Facebook Page."