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Cocaine dealers to be targeted ahead of Christmas


Two arrested after cocaine worth €44k found in weekend Westport searches

Anton McNulty

A SENIOR Mayo garda has said this week that there will be further Garda operations targeting dealing and the use of cocaine and other drugs ahead of the Christmas party season.
Cocaine worth €44,000 was seized during two intelligence led searches of property by the Mayo drug unit in the Westport region over the weekend of November 1 and 2. 
In the first search in the Quay area of Westport on Friday evening, Gardaí recovered cocaine with an estimated value of €42,000 along with a mixing agent and a small quantity of MDMA with an estimated value of €100. 
In a second search of a house in the Murrisk area on Saturday, cocaine with an estimated street value of €2,000 along with herbal cannabis with an estimated street value of €2,500 and mixing agent were recovered.
A male and a female aged 21 and 18 were arrested for suspected offences under the Misuse of Drugs Acts. They were both detained at Westport Garda Station for questioning and have since been released without charge. Files will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The seizure of the cocaine was one of the biggest in the region in recent years and it is understood that all the drugs seized were to be sold in the Westport area. It also follows the discovery of over €5,000 of cocaine in Westport in September.
Superintendent Joe McKenna told The Mayo News that he was not surprised at the quantity of cocaine saying that it was now the most popular drug of choice in the western region.

High demand
“In the region of Mayo, Roscommon and Galway, we are seizing more cocaine than cannabis at the moment, which is unusual. It seems to be socially acceptable with the younger generation to be taking the drug ... to some it is like taking a pint and they don’t seem to realise the dangers associated with it. You can tell by the quantity of the drugs discovered that unfortunately there is a demand for the drug,” he said.
Gardaí stated that the weekend’s raids are part of the ongoing investigations led by the Mayo Drugs Unit targeting those involved in the sale and supply of controlled drugs.
“Naturally we will continue to have operations on the sale and supply of drugs in the county and I would expect further garda operations in the next few weeks,” Supt McKenna said adding that the Christmas party scene will be particularly targeted.
Westport-based councillor Christy Hyland congratulated the gardaí on the seizure but called for extra garda resources to combat the drugs problem in the county.
“We have only one detective sergeant and three detectives in the drug unit in the county and there needs to be more resources in tackling the drug problem. Cocaine use is so bad in the county that medical and police personnel have stated that if no action is taken we could lose a generation.
“As a society we should work together to ensure that our young people are protected from these drug dealers and scumbags. There is a massive problem with cocaine in every town in Ireland at the moment and people should be aware that every time they buy the drug they are contributing to the gangland feud in Dublin and every death that comes from that,” he warned.