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Carlow among areas with large numbers of drugs offences

It's despite a slowdown in court activity due to the pandemic

Over 3,100 people were convicted of drugs offences in the first ten months of this year.

More than 19% per cent were in Dublin, but many rural areas also had large numbers.

According to new figures from the Courts Service, 3,104 people were convicted of drugs offences in various courts across the country between January and October.

That’s despite a slowdown in court activity this year due to the pandemic.

530 people were found guilty of possession of drugs for sale and supply, while 2,574 were convicted of the lesser offence of unlawful possession of drugs.

604 were found guilty of either offence in courts in Dublin, making up a fifth of the total.

And there were 317 convictions in Cork city.

However, many more regional areas throughout the country also had quite large numbers, including Portlaoise, with 330, and Carlow, Ennis, Clonmel, Cavan, Mullingar and Trim.

Sheelagh Brady is a security analyst and former Garda sergeant, she says “Often when we’re hearing about drugs problems we hear of it in the big urban centres so looking at towns like Mullingar, Portlaoise, when you look at those figures, you see that there is a wider distribution of the problem although it’s not the same in more rural areas, you can see the numbers are more lower”.

She adds “I think we can be more honest about the drug problem, that’s the first thing I would say, we often don’t get to see the types of drug use that are done behind closed doors, in people’s homes, in people’s nightclubs so I think we have to be more honest about what the drug problem is and that it impacts nearly every socio-economic group, every professional group across society”.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee says the government’s committed to a health-led approach to the misuse of drugs.


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