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Monaghan councillor expresses concern that gardaí are 'losing the war on drugs'

Dec 15, 2021 14:12 By News Northern Sound
Monaghan councillor expresses concern that gardaí are 'losing the war on drugs' Monaghan councillor expresses concern that gardaí are 'losing the war on drugs'
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While figures show a 12% yearly reduction in drug offences, Noel Keelan questioned how many detections are not being made.

A local councillor has expressed concern that gardaí are "losing the war on drugs".

Figures showing a 12% reduction in drugs offences in Co Monaghan were also questioned at a Joint Policing Committee meeting.

At the JPC meeting, members were presented with figures that revealed a 12% decrease in the number of drug offences being investigated in the year-to-date, when compared to the same figure last year.

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There have been 23 drug offences so far this year, down three from last year's figure of 26.

However, PJ O'Hanlon raised concerns about the number of grow houses being discovered in housing estates in the past year.

He said he never thought he would see a grow house discovered in Carrickmacross and asked if there was "the man power and resources to tackle this... and stamp it out".

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In October, 100 cannabis plants and over seven kilograms of cannabis herb, with an approximate value of €226,000, were discovered during a search that took place under Operation Tara, which targets the sale and supply of drugs.

Councillor O'Hanlon told the meeting that while it "is bad enough that people are coming in and selling here", it is a "no-no" that people would grow it here.

Noel Keelan then asked the meeting if "the war on drugs is being lost".

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He said the discovery of grow houses and seizures are a great thing but questioned how many detections are not being made.

Chief superintendent Alan McGovern told the meeting that a lot of grow houses are in isolated areas and added that gardaí will "step up a recruitment campaign in the new year".

He also said there is a "need to look at the lead up to offences" and educate young people on drugs.

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