Pubdate: Thu, 18 Feb 1999
Source: An Phoblacht/Republican News (Ireland)
Copyright: 1999 Phoblacht/Republican News
Author: none given


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 IEP14,000
and IEP20,000.

At the meeting  Euro candidate Sean 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. 
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