Sunday 18 March 2018

Gang 'godmothers' taking over the family business

Women have increasingly taken a leading role in the organised drug and illicit tobacco trade, writes Jim Cusack

A PECULIAR interaction of government policy on the placement of drug treatment centres in Dublin city centre, gang feuding, the mass-scale importation of drugs and tobacco and the traditional bread-winning role in women in inner city Dublin has created a new breed of "godmothers" now responsible for overseeing organised crime.

The Government has allowed a situation to evolve where at least 20 centres for heroin addicts exist in the heart of Dublin, 16 of them in Dublin 1, north of the Liffey. This brings thousands of addicts into the city centre every day. They are the market for the city's heroin and other illegal drug trade which runs alongside the illicit tobacco trade. The control of the distribution of the illegal products is now predominantly run by women, gardai say.

Dublin's male gangsters are chronically prone to feuding and violence. This causes increased Garda activity, and men spending more time trying to kill each other or on the run from attack than in the running of their core drug businesses. In the past 10 years, there have been 121 gang killings in Dublin.

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