Local Fianna Fáil Councillor, Frankie Keena, in his capacity as chairman of the Athlone Drug Awareness Group, this week complimented the work of the Gardai on the significant drug seizures and cash which they have acquired following numerous searches within the Athlone and Midlands region.
“I welcome the fact that there is now a full-time Garda drug squad in the Westmeath/Longford Garda division whose main remit is to focus solely on drug related crime.
“This squad is conducting marvellous work combating drug dealers and intimidation of families who are indirectly caught up in this activity. A prime example of this was highlighted last week where the Gardai seized €160,000 in cash from a car in Athlone.
“At a recent Joint Policing meeting upon my querying the high statistics of drug dealing and possession in the Athlone area, the Chief Superintendent stated that the reason for such figures was due to the fact that the Gardai had focused a lot of time on such crime in this area.
“I do hope that this level of intense operation by the Gardai will continue as we need to identify and root out these drug dealers from our communities.
“I also would like to compliment the excellent work of the Revenue officers at both the Athlone and Dublin Mail Centres where €225,000 worth of drugs were seized last February.
“There are a large number of families that I am aware of who have been destroyed by the scourge of these drugs so we need to be pro-active and vigilant at all times with regard to drug dealing within our communities.
“It is important to inform the public that they can anonymously ring the Gardai on the freephone number 1800 666 111 if they have any information that could help them combat these drug dealers,” Cllr Keena asserted.