Cannabis cap­i­tal of County Wick­low’

Fe­bru­ary 2005

Bray People - - NEWS -

FIG­URES re­leased this week show that cannabis seizures in Ark­low by the Gar­daí far out­strip the amounts for Bray over the last three years.

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics ob­tained by Fine Gael Deputy Billy Tim­mins in a Dáil ques­tion, the es­ti­mated street value for cannabis seizures in Ark­low in 2002 was €17,765, com­pared with just €3,073 for Bray.

In 2003, the dis­par­ity was even greater with the cannabis seizures in Ark­low hav­ing shot up to €63,800 com­pared with €19,291 for Bray, which has over three times Ark­low’s pop­u­la­tion of ?10,500.

But in 2004, the cannabis seizures slumped in both towns - just €1,375 for Ark­low while Bray had more with a to­tal of €9,688.

Ark­low also topped Bray for heroin seizures in 2004, the re­spec­tive fig­ures be­ing €7,575 for Ark­low and €1,810 for Bray, while the alarm­ing fig­ures also show smaller amounts of ec­stasy, herbal cannabis, co­caine, methadone, ro­hyp­nol and am­phet­a­mines be­ing seized by Gar­daí in drugs swoops.

Deputy Billy Tim­mins said that the plight of drugs is one of the great­est dan­gers in so­ci­ety to­day and many young peo­ple are putting their lives in dan­ger. The de­mand for fund­ing for drugs has also lead to an in­crease in crime in com­mu­ni­ties and re­sources must be made avail­able to the Gardai.

Cllr Nicky Kelly said that they now had over 100 heroin ad­dicts in Ark­low; it was a very se­ri­ous prob­lem and the un­for­tu­nate re­al­ity was that the vast ma­jor­ity of th­ese peo­ple were from their own com­mu­nity.

He said that he was one who had op­posed the set­ting up of a methadone clinic be­ing set up in Ark­low but at that time the num­ber of heroin ad­dicts could be counted in sin­gle fig­ures.

‘Now the time has come to bite the bul­let on this is­sue, but if the Health Board is to set up a methadone clinic in Ark­low it must be ac­com­pa­nied by all the ap­pro­pri­ate sup­ports and out­reach fa­cil­i­ties for the drug ad­dicts and their fam­i­lies and then they may have rea­son­able suc­cess in re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing ad­dicts’ he said.

‘We can­not turn our back on the drug prob­lem in Ark­low, it is far too se­ri­ous at this stage. We have to address the over­all is­sue and pro­vide the sup­ports’ he added.

Cllr Bill O’Con­nell said that over the years he had been call­ing for ap­pro­pri­ate ser­vices for ad­dicts in the town of Ark­low. Un­for­tu­nately this did not hap­pen due to a lot of lo­cal op­po­si­tion. Now it seems that a lot of peo­ple who were then op­posed to th­ese type of ser­vices be­ing pro­vided are now be­gin­ning to re­alised that are very nec­es­sary.

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