Community leaders have praised gardaí in Cork for taking a “destructive poison” off the streets following the largest seizure of heroin in the city.
Gardaí are still questioning two men in connection with the seizure of around €425,000 worth of the drug, following an intelligence-led operation in the Knocknaheeny area on the northside of the city on Thursday night.
Based on information from the community, gardaí including detectives from Togher Garda Station supported by members of the Gurranabraher District Drugs Unit and members of the Armed Support Unit based in Anglesea Street Garda Station, swooped on a car which had just arrived at a house on Harbour View Road at around 11.30pm.
They recovered around 3kgs of heroin worth around €425,000.
Previously, the largest haul in Cork was a 2.5kg seizure on St Patrick's St last November.
The latest haul had been brought from Dublin for distribution and sale in the Cork market.
Two men, aged 42 and 57, one from the northside and one from the southside of the city, were arrested at the scene and are being detained at Gurranabraher Garda Station under drug trafficking laws, which allows gardaí detain suspects for up to seven days.
The car has been seized for forensic analysis and an address on Harbour View Road was searched.
Superintendent Michael Comyns thanked the community for their support.
“Gardaí were only able to act so quickly on this because they had calls from the local community about unusual activity,” he said.
Local Sinn Féin Cllr Mick Nugent commended the gardaí and said: “This is a serious blow to the distributors of this drug which has extremely adverse effects on communities."
Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould, the party’s spokesperson on addiction, who is from the area, said the seizure proves positive outcomes are possible when communities engage with gardaí.
“Heroin is such a destructive drug. It destroys individual, families and their communities,” he said.
“The community is engaging with gardaí on this because they don’t want their kids growing up in an environment where heroin is being dealt”
The last major heroin haul in Cork was made on November 5, 2019 when the Cork City Divisional Drugs Unit mounted an operation on foot of information that a large quantity of the drug was to be moved from Dublin to Cork.
Kevin Bulman had just stepped off an Aircoach bus from the capital and was walking to a taxi on St Patrick’s St when gardaí, awaiting his arrival, arrested him. He had almost 2.5kg of heroin worth around €350,000 in his rucksack.
Bulman, originally from Youghal but of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to possessing the heroin for sale and was sentenced last April to six years.
Last May, Cork City Divisional Drugs Unit seized approximately half a kilo of suspected heroin with an estimated street value of €70,000.
Meanwhile, members of the Kerry Divisional Drugs Unit have been given use of a ‘Dräger Drug Test 5000’ machine to identify drug drivers.
Head of the Roads Policing Unit, Inspector Tony Sugrue, said it’s another tool to help gardaí target those they believe are involved in the sale of drugs in Kerry.