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Sunday 15 September 2019

Electric Picnic 2019: Gardaí make number of illegal drug seizures - despite revellers' best efforts to conceal them

Gardai seized a number of illegal drugs at Electric Picnic within minutes of gates opening yesterday (Photo: An Garda Siochana)
Gardai seized a number of illegal drugs at Electric Picnic within minutes of gates opening yesterday (Photo: An Garda Siochana)
Gardai seized a number of illegal drugs at Electric Picnic within minutes of gates opening yesterday (Photo: An Garda Siochana)
Gardai seized a number of illegal drugs at Electric Picnic within minutes of gates opening yesterday (Photo: An Garda Siochana)
Gardai seized a number of illegal drugs at Electric Picnic within minutes of gates opening yesterday (Photo: An Garda Siochana)
Gardai seized a number of illegal drugs at Electric Picnic within minutes of gates opening yesterday (Photo: An Garda Siochana)

Aoife Walsh

Gardai seized a number of illegal drugs at Electric Picnic within minutes of gates opening yesterday, despite festival-goers' best efforts to hide them.

Gardai uncovered drugs such as cocaine, MDMA, Ketamine and LSD after some Electric Picnic revellers tactfully tried to conceal their stash in shower gel bottles and sanitary items.

The seizures were made within minutes of the festival gate opening at 4pm yesterday.

Posting on the Garda Siochana Laois Offaly Facebook page, gardai wrote: "Gates opened at 4pm today and within minutes a number of seizures of illegal drugs have been made.

Gardai seized a number of illegal drugs at Electric Picnic within minutes of gates opening yesterday (Photo: An Garda Siochana)
Gardai seized a number of illegal drugs at Electric Picnic within minutes of gates opening yesterday (Photo: An Garda Siochana)

"Gardaí are carrying out searches and are reminding people attending that any seizures made will have consequences for the individual. Keeping people safe and free from harm is important. Cocaine, Ketamine, LSD, MDMA have been seized so far today."

With 57,000 expected to flock to Stradbally, Co Laois for the weekend long festival, the HSE have warned festival-goers to avoid mixing drugs with alcohol, as well as mixing different types of drugs.

Gardai seized a number of illegal drugs at Electric Picnic within minutes of gates opening yesterday (Photo: An Garda Siochana)
Gardai seized a number of illegal drugs at Electric Picnic within minutes of gates opening yesterday (Photo: An Garda Siochana)

Dr Eamon Keenan, HSE’s National Clinical Lead-Addiction Services, told Independent.ie earlier this week that while the HSE advises people not to use drugs at all, the reality is that drugs are taken at festivals.

"Festivals are an event where young people are away from home, maybe for some of them it’s the first time that they’ll be exposed to drugs," said Dr Keenan. 

Gardai seized a number of illegal drugs at Electric Picnic within minutes of gates opening yesterday (Photo: An Garda Siochana)
Gardai seized a number of illegal drugs at Electric Picnic within minutes of gates opening yesterday (Photo: An Garda Siochana)

"Maybe they’ll be very naive in relation to drugs, maybe they’re going to believe everything that people around them say to them in relation to drugs."

In an effort to reduce the harm to recreational drug users, the HSE has worked with festival organisers this summer to highlight the risks and offer practical advice for those who will use.

Gardai seized a number of illegal drugs at Electric Picnic within minutes of gates opening yesterday (Photo: An Garda Siochana)
Gardai seized a number of illegal drugs at Electric Picnic within minutes of gates opening yesterday (Photo: An Garda Siochana)

"One of our main messages is around mixing of drugs, because poly-substance use is a big problem and people are mixing drugs, including with alcohol, and sometimes with prescription drugs.

"Nobody knows what the reaction is or what will happen as a result of that so one of our clear messages is, if you decide to take drugs, don’t mix drugs."

He added: "It’s always safer not to use at all.  There’s always a risk around taking drugs.  It’s never safe, but if you follow harm reduction information you may be able to minimise risks."

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