FOLLOWING the seizure of over €245,000 worth of drugs in Kinsale last Friday, there have been calls to acknowledge that West Cork is experiencing a serious drugs problem.
Speaking to The Southern Star, one Dunmanway business owner, who preferred not to give his name, has called for more government action to be taken to tackle the problem.
‘Being in a business here one gets to see and hear things and it’s quite obvious there is a serious drugs problem in West Cork. I hear about it on regular basis and it’s not until someone dies from drugs that there is an outcry about it,’ he said.
‘I’ve heard of one incident where heroin was found in Clonakilty and am hearing secondhand that there’s a heroin problem in Bandon. The gardaí are doing their best, but we’re not hearing much from the politicians and there doesn’t seem to be a recognition of the problem.’
He also feels that there isn’t enough being said to young people to educate them about the dangers of drug taking.
‘There just seems to be no recognition that a problem exists at the highest level in government and they’re doing nothing to combat it. They spend so much money on tobacco and alcohol control, but they need to invest more in tackling the drugs problem.’
He also highlighted the worrying trend that there is a demand for drugs from people in West Cork.
‘I don’t think we are dealing with the issues of why people want the drugs in the first place,’ he added.
Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony told The Southern Star that more resources need to be put into the gardaí and she praised the work of the West Cork Divisional Drugs Unit who carried out the operation in Kinsale last Friday.
‘It does come down to funding for more gardaí resources to tackle the drug dealers, but it also comes down to funding for those addicted to drugs and the government needs to be pro-active in giving help to both and I am on record for seeking that funding,’ said Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.
As a mother of two boys, Deputy Murphy O’Mahony said she was very conscious of the dangers of drugs for young people.
‘On a personal level, it was very disappointing to hear of such a major drugs seizure in my area and it’s definitely creeping in. But we need to be conscious of the pressures that young people face and provide alternatives like sporting facilities as well as educating them on the dangers of drug-taking.’
Deputy Michael Collins is also calling for the Minister for Justice to give better resources to gardaí to specifically tackle this issue: ‘It’s in every town and village in West Cork and it’s a serious worry for a lot of families and young people.’