18 February 1999 Edition

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SF unveils large drugs haul

A large amount of illegal drugs was presented to gardai at a packed public meeting on Tuesday night called to highlight the issue of open drug dealing in Dublin's South Inner City.

Local Sinn Fein representative Ken Fitzgerald unveiled the drugs at the meeting on School Street and said the size of the haul indicated the scale of the drugs problem in the area and the impunity with which dealers were operating in the South Inner City.

Fitzgerald called for a ``partnership between the local community, the gardai and all the statutory agencies'' to address what he said was an escalating problem.

The drugs were discovered when members of the community had observed a number of men acting suspiciously. When they investigated further they discovered the concealed drugs, the bulk of which was believed to be cannabis, separated into fourteen bars, individually wrapped or vacuum-packed in plastic. They immediately contacted local Sinn Fein representative and well-known community activist Ken Fitzgerald and gave him the location of the drugs.

Fitzgerald, accompanied by local anti-drugs campaigners, recovered the drugs cache and presented them to gardai at Tuesday's meeting. Journalists later estimated the haul to be valued at between £14,000 and £20,000.

At the meeting Sinn Féin Euro candidate Seán Crowe said he hoped the gardai would see the drugs handover as a positive gesture and the beginning of increased co-operation between the local community and the gardai in tackling the drugs problem.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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