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Grow house bust nets a €900,000 cannabis haul


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Grow house bust nets a €900,000 cannabis haul Grow house bust nets a €900,000 cannabis haul

By Dara Bradley

The discovery of a suspected grow house in Galway City last weekend was the latest in a series of major drugs busts by local Gardaí so far this year.

Up to last weekend, the value of drugs seized by Galway Gardaí in the city and county had topped €700,000 – the vast majority of which was for cannabis.

But that figure has more than doubled following a major drugs haul in St Augustine Street in the city centre last Friday.

Gardaí said they seized approximately €890,000 of suspected cannabis plants and cannabis herb during a search operation at 11.30am last Friday, April 19.

Members of the Galway Garda Divisional Drugs Unit, as part of Operation Tara, conducted a search of the property in the city centre, as part of a strategy to target people involved in the sale or supply of illegal drugs.

Gardaí said that during the search a large-scale cannabis cultivation operation was discovered.

Cannabis plants and cannabis herb with an estimated street value of €890,000 was seized by investigating Gardaí. All drugs are now subject to analysis by Forensic Science Ireland (FSI).

Two men, aged in their 20s, were arrested at the scene and detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996, at a Garda station in the North Western Region.

Investigations are ongoing, a Garda spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, several speakers at the Galway City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting on Monday praised the Divisional Drugs Unit in Galway for its success so far this year.

Crime analyst, Olivia Maher confirmed there had been 28 incidents of possession of drugs for sale or supply detected in the first three months of this year.

This was on a par with the same period last year, she said.

In Galway City, the street value of drugs seized amounted to about €370,000. This included €186,000 of cannabis, €112,000 of cocaine and €40,000 worth of ecstasy tablets. The remaining €29,000 was ‘other’ drugs.

In the county, some €360,000 of cannabis was seized and just €3,000 worth of cocaine, in January, February and March.

The latest city seizure of cannabis increased the value of drugs seized so far in Galway this year to more than €1.6m.

City Councillor Donal Lyons (Ind) queried why incidents of simple possession of drugs had fallen – down 66% to 35 incidents in the first three months of the year.

Garda Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche said the Divisional Drugs Unit had been focusing on people involved in sale or supply of drugs.

He said Galway had one of the biggest drugs divisions in the country and it was punching above its weight in terms of successful operations.

Pictured: Garda Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche

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