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Destroy dealers’ vehicles, JPC hears


 Councillor proposes crushing cars used to move drugs

Edwin McGreal

Councillors in Mayo have proposed a plan to crush the drugs trade. A proposal to crush any car caught carrying drugs received support at last Friday’s Mayo Joint Policing Committee meeting – with one councillor even suggesting the drug dealers ought to be in the car at the time.
“I’m just wondering would it be a suggestion that the traffickers car would be taken and crushed in front of them and they would have to bear the cost,” said Cllr Neil Cruise (FG).
“And have them in it,” interjected Cllr Michael Kilcoyne (Ind).
“Well I didn’t say that,” Cllr Cruise quipped, before returning to the matter. “They are trafficking, they are moving an illegal substance around our state,” he said, adding that he believed the suggestion of vehicle removal and destruction ‘could be brought to the national parliament sooner rather than later’.
Det Supt Joe McKenna responded by saying, “I would welcome anything that would reduce drug use, anything.”
The discussion followed a proposal by Cllr Gerry Coyle (FG), whereby Cllr Coyle suggested that anyone using a vehicle to transport drugs should be automatically disqualified from driving for five years for a first offence and disqualified for life on a second conviction.
“That, to me, would do more than the prison sentences and everything else. That they are off the road. They are using their vehicle for an illegal activity, to bring misery to others. They should be put off the road if they are able to bring misery to youngsters. When you see a town like Belmullet affected, you’re not talking about the hinterland of Galway or Sligo. I think there should be a full clampdown.”
Cllr Michael Burke (FG) echoed Cllr Coyle’s comments.
“I think it is very, very important that someone who is caught with drugs in their car, the car should be taken off then. I’m one of those who watches a lot of police programmes in England and the States and Australia, and I certainly feel they deal with and treat offenders in a different way than we deal with them here,” he said.