Monday 17 June 2019

Annagassan family thank community

Hubert Murphy

The Annagassan family being terrorised by a drug gang has thanked the local community for supporting them in their stance against the criminals.

In a letter, read on their behalf by Cllr Ruairi O Murchu at last week's Mid Louth Joint Policing Committee, the family said they had been victims of an ongoing campaign of intimidation since early 2018.

They had given the gang €4,000 on behalf of someone who couldn't pay the money and then them came back and said they wanted €8,000.

They said they wouldn't give any more and now they are 'living in constant fear'.

Their home has been petrol bombed, windows broken, they are threatened every week and they say 'they'll chop our heads off.'

But they say they are determined to see this through and urge others to stand up to the drug gangs. They say 'don't let the drug dealers take our children from us.'

They thanked their neighbours for backing them, some sleeping overnight as added protection.

'There is strength in numbers. We stand together and we'll not give in to them,' they added.

Chief Supt Christopher Mangan said he was delighted that the family had made a stand and they were fully supporting them.

'We need to build on community support,' he urged, stating that the political persuasions needed to be parked and a united voice brought in to fight this scourge.

Supt Pat O'Connell from Ardee district said they were delivering a plan for the family involved.

They had raided four houses earlier this year, arresting two males and seizing cannabis and cocaine, valued at €5,000 plus 18 mobile phones. Another person is also in custody.

He said he was aware that other families are in a similiar situation, but urged them to come forward.

Inspector Ronan Carey from Ardee is the person in charge of drug intimidation investigations in the Louth area and he told the meeting he is available to meet any family, at any time, in a location that suits them.

He said it does get complicated when children become involved in drugs but feels building trust is the key to everything.

'Come forward in total confidence,' he stated.

He can be contacted at 0416871138.

The Argus