Wednesday 16 October 2019

'Epidemic' of drugs in the local region

Hubert Murphy

'The feud will end, we'll bring it to an end and we'll take the good, the bad and the ugly from it.'

The words of Chief Supt Christopher Mangan at last week's Joint Policing Meeting, determined words, but very real when he considers not only the ongoing feud, but what the people of the town can expect from authorities in the years to come.

He's realistic about the problems that exist and that they must be fixed, long term.

Resources were raised, politicians asking about numbers and ideal numbers, and while he acknowledged they could do with more, it has been a combination of events that have forced his hand.

An Garda Siochana have had six murders to solve and bring people to justice as a result. It costs money, resources, overtime, but he makes no excuses when it comes to costs and the price of someone's life. He said he wouldn't be apologising for any overspends on budget when it comes to tackling criminals.

And he wasn't going to say much more than that. 'Criminals read newspapers intently to see what resources are there,' he added.

'Cheap investigations make for expensive tribunals,' he warned.

And he sent out a message to the reading criminals,' we've made good inroads in these investigations.'

He reported that they had 50 serious incidents, including three attempted murders, pipe bombs and drug offences, and said it was 'taxing, but we have a good handle on the main people involved and I'm confident we'll deal with them. This is not nice when it's on your own doorstep.'

Operation Stratus is the name of the investigation launched to tackle the feud and during the course of it they found that criminals 'fall out' and when that happens, 'we get the opportunity to move in.'

The armed support is still on call 24 hours a day - almost unique outside Dublin - vital against people 'who intend to kill each other.'

On the issue of drugs, he says there's an 'epidemic' - in towns and villages - and 'we must get real on taking positive action.'

He says if people have a drink problem, they can attend courses and meetings, but if you want to give up heroin, there's a waiting list.

Drogheda Independent