'It's frightening' - Publican claims people openly snorting cocaine off phones and passports
Drug usage has become so acceptable and normalised in Irish society that people are openly snorting cocaine in public areas, a county councillor has claimed.
Cllr Alan O'Callaghan (FF) raised the issue before the joint policing committee in Co Clare on Monday.
He says "it is frightening" how people seem to have no problem "snorting cocaine off their phones or passports."
"They seem to be doing it the same as they would go out to have a fag nowadays," he told Independent.ie.
Mr O'Callaghan, who runs a pub in rural Co Clare, says he has barred people in the past for taking drugs in his establishment.
"I would always be on the watch out. It has only happened once or twice in the eight years I am here, but in more built-up areas, it is becoming rampant.
"A number of locals said they were shocked by the amount of people over the Christmas period taking cocaine while in the public eye and contacted me about it," he added.
The Fianna Fáil councillor added that it's worrying people feel the need to have drugs to enjoy themselves.
"Young people seem to think 'Oh, we need a bit of cocaine to lift our spirits', and it's frightening to see that going on."
A spokesperson for Narcotics Anonymous (NA), a non-profit group which helps people recover from addiction, warned young people about how recreational use of drugs can eventually lead to addiction.
"It's not just in Co Clare this is happening, it's worldwide.
"The message we should be giving to youths is to get education around drugs and understand what they're doing. Drugs kill, and that's the dangerous thing about them."