Monday 18 November 2019

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‘We need to hit dealers hard’

Thursday, 7th November, 2019 8:58am

“Cork is at the precipice when it comes to heroin use. The situation is already very bad but you cannot put the dealers out of business if you are not going to act.”

Those were the words of Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central Jonathan O’Brien who addressed the Dáil yesterday regarding the soaring drug issues in Cork city.Deputy O’Brien said: “We need to hit the dealers now and hit them hard. A message needs to go out loudly and clearly - if you are involved in the supply of drugs you will be stopped and you will go to jail for a very long time.”

This week gardaí in Cork seized more than €350,000 worth of heroin.

On Tuesday, gardaí in Cork arrested a man in his 30s and seized more than €350,000 worth of heroin.

The arrest was made by gardaí from the Divisional Drugs Unit in Cork city as part of an operation targeting the sale and supply of drugs. The man was caught hauling two and a half kilos of heroin, which was split into a number of bags, as well as €2,000 worth of cocaine.

Superintendent Michael Comyns said: “This is a significant seizure by our drugs unit here in Cork city. Drugs have such a negative impact on so many lives and have no place in our communities.”

Meanwhile, there were reports of needles and blatant heroin use in the Barrack Street area of the city with residents saying they feared for their children’s safety. Residents living in a complex on Fort Street, located to the back of St FinBarre’s Cathedral, have said that the steps to their homes are being regularly used by people injecting heroin and have asked the city council and gardaí for help.

Speaking at a community safety forum for Cork South Central, one resident said that she took photos of drug paraphernalia and needles in the area and on the steps that connect Fort Street to Proby’s Quay.

“Now we are left with an open area where people can come in and out as they please and sit on the steps that we have to pass every day and take whatever drugs they want,” the resident said.

Speaking to the Cork Independent, local Green Party Cllr Dan Boyle said that he believes the issue isn’t necessarily an increase in addicts in the city, but an increase in visibility.

Cllr Boyle said: “It’s an issue that has several dimensions to it. There’s obviously growing concern about the visibility of people who are shooting up.

“A lot of social factors, such as difficulty in getting and maintaining housing, especially at lower income levels. This makes a lot more of our social problems more visible on our streets, which brings about greater public concern.”

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