Concern at rise in street drug violence

Dangerous new chemicals being sold on the streets are being blamed for a spate of incidents in Dublin’s north inner city, which came to a head at the weekend in the murder of a father of two.

Renewed calls were made for State agencies and communities to work together to address the problem, with criticisms that the Government was not giving the issue of drugs and crime, and wider socio-economic problems, sufficient priority.

A man was arrested on Sunday for the shooting of Ciaran Brooks near the Killarney Court apartment complex late on Saturday. The suspected killer is thought to have carried out an armed robbery on a taxi driver earlier and is also suspected of beating a homeless man hours after the shooting. He was arrested later by gardaí, but sources said they were unable to interview him for hours as he seemed to be drugged.

“The whole community is disturbed by what happened over the weekend,” said Mel MacGiobúin, co-ordinator of the North Inner City Drugs Task Force. He said locals had seen a trend in drugs sold on the street, and the erratic, sometimes violent, behaviour they induced.

“They are sold as ‘ice’ or different chemicals sold as ice, irrespective of what the chemical is,” said said Mr MacGiobúin.

“There has been a lot of incidents, a lot of irrational behaviour, not outside of drug-related crime. There’s a lot of talk of people carrying a lot of blades and various weapons.”

He said the situation was also occurring across Europe. As reported in the Irish Examiner previously, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drugs Addiction said it is concerned about new chemicals which have unknown effects and are potent, often toxic, at very small doses.

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