Assistant Garda Commissioner John O’Driscoll, who has responsibility for Special Crime Operations, has defended the force’s record on dealing with drugs.
The drugs issue is being tackled in many ways, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland – through local drugs units, the National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau and the Criminal Assets Bureau.
A combined approach had led to Tuesday’s seizure of
Officers attached to the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau uncovered the haul when they intercepted and searched a commercial haulage vehicle in Ballymascanlon, Dundalk on Tuesday.
The cannabis was concealed within a load of fresh vegetables.
This seizure was important and highlighted the importance of cross border cooperation, he said. “We are trying to hit criminal groups in every way possible.”
This had led to 722 arrests, along with the seizure of drugs valued at €167m and €10.7m in cash, he added. “We are having an impact. But this is not a matter for the Garda Síochana alone.”
Educating young people about the dangers of using drugs and the consequences was an important aspect of tackling the drugs issue, said the Assistant Commissioner.
Meanwhile, former ministers of State who have overseen the National Drugs Strategy
Nine former ministers of State with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy have put their name to a statement which is being made today at a CityWide Drugs Crisis Campaign event in Dublin, in which they warn that grassroots stakeholders are losing their authority.