Crackdown on drug dealing sees 22 charged

FOLLOWING a huge garda operation to crack down on drug dealing in Limerick, 22 people have been charged with possession of cocaine for sale or supply.

Code named Operation Kelsy, a swoop over several days led to the arrest of 16 men and women, on Friday last, along with a further seven men and two women at the weekend.

All were released on bail and those charged are due to appear at Limerick District Court on Thursday.

A number of people were arrested in Newcastle West after a van was stopped and a quantity of drugs found.

Supt Frank O’Brien of Henry Street, who is leading the investigation, said he was confident there will be successful prosecutions following the operation.

More arrests are expected in coming days.

Supt O’Brien said: “The operation was to try and dismantle the distribution network that was operating here in the city.

“Certainly when we are getting evidence to bring so many charges, it is a significant development in achieving this target.

“We expect it will be early this week before we have the operation completed and we reach all our targets. Ultimately all these people will have to account for their actions.”

Cllr Michael Hourigan, chairman of Limerick city’s joint policing committee, expressed his delight at the success of gardaí in making significant inroads on the fight against drugs in Limerick.

He said: “Drugs continue to be a scourge on our community and I hope this operation will significantly obstruct the drugs trade in Limerick.”

Gardaí have in recent months struck a major blow to one of the biggest drugs distribution gangs based in Limerick.

As well as arrests of key players, substantial amounts of heroin were seized.

The gang has a huge distribution network operating in most major towns in north Munster and stretching up into the west.

Meanwhile, one gang leader who has strong links to the McCarthy Dundon faction was arrested following a garda swoop on the north side of the city.

A file is being prepared for the DPP and it is expected the person involved will face trial in the coming months on a series of drugs charges.

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