A so-called “drugs supermarket” in Limerick City sets up almost immediately after gardaí raid it and locals are feeling abandoned.
A meeting of the Limerick joint policing committee was told today by Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan that people living in the area feel abandoned because of drug-dealing at the property in St Mary’s Park in the city. Gardaí set up an operation called Capog earlier this year to tackle drug-dealing in the location.
But today, Mr Quinlivan said the property is continuing to be used for the distribution of drugs on a 24/7 basis.
He continued: “When the gardaí go in there, they are back up and running half an hour or 40 minutes later. It just seems to be an ongoing circus.”
He added: “Unless it is put out of action, the project [Operation Capog] will have failed.”
The people there are a settled, older community and they feel completely abandoned, he said.
Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche said extra community policing has been put in place in the area and gardaí are working closely with Limerick City Council and Limerick County Council.
While saying he could not talk about any particular case, he said: “We have numerous cases before the courts, not only for the people we are getting there but the people who are running that. It is a privately-owned establishment, house, which causes more issues about what the council can do as well.”
He said it is not straightforward and assistance had been sought from national units but they could not progress it.
However, he pledged: “We are not finished by a mile and we will continue to do the work there.”
Gardaí said a small number of reports have been received in the Limerick division this year about drug-related intimidation. Chief Supt Roche urged families in such situations to contact gardaí.
“It is a really serious thing to happen to a family, with the bullying and intimidation that goes with it where a young member of a family often bullied by drug-dealers find themselves in severe debt.”
More than €1m of cannabis and over €600,000 worth of cocaine have been seized in the Limerick Garda division in the past year, while €3,310 worth of crack cocaine has been seized. More than €330,000 in cash has been seized, as well as £4,390.
The meeting heard that there have been 18 people charged in relation to money-laundering in the area while there are other cases waiting for a decision from the DPP. Files are also being prepared for the DPP in relation to further cases, Sgt Mick Dunne told the meeting.
Meanwhile, Chief Supt Roche said that the number of incidents relating to domestic violence issues are up by 21% on last year’s figures.
He described it as a worry, continuing: “It is reflective of Covid and what is going on with people being at home all the time.”