A PORTARLINGTON councillor has backed the setting up of a community action group on drug crime following a big heroin seizure in the town.
The drugs, which had an estimated street value of €100,000, were seized by Gardai in Port last Friday where a shotgun was also discoverd during a search on a house in one of Port’s newly built estates.
The drugs and gun was discovered when gardai raided a house in Canal Court estate off the Station Road. A man was arrested during the operation which was carried out by local drug unit detectives, Port gardai and the armed Reigional Support Unit.
An extensive search was carried out at the scene that led to the discovery the drugs and the shotgun. The firearm was not licenced to the man arrested at the scene. Gardai are investigating the possibilty that he gun may have been stolen.
While, the drugs were understood to have been destinded for the Laois Kildare market, the gardai do not believe that the man was dealing from the house. He was not known to gardai in relation to drug activity and gardai are investigating the possibilty that he was acting as a “caretaker” for the drugs.
The man, who is originally from Dublin and aged in his 40s, was taken into custody by gardai and questioned over the weekend before being released. The suspect is said to have co-operated with gardai. A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Cllr Ray Cribbin said the community must be vigilant and praised the gardai. “It is great that these guys are apprehended because of all the devestation they are causing,” he said.
Cllr Cribbin said that while Portlington was no worse than any other similar sized small towns. A community task force exists in Edenderry to assist families hit by drugs.
“I would support the setting up of an action group like that,” he said.
Cllr Cribbin was concerned that the retirment of garda retirements at senior level could impact on policing locally.