The Divisional Drug Unit will be re-established in the coming weeks after a four-year hiatus. Chief Superintendent Christopher Mangan told The Anglo-Celt that the recruitment process is in train and he hopes that the unit will be operational by the first week of March, if not earlier.
“The drug unit interviews are just completed this week and the unit will be set up to provide the resources necessary to deal with the drug issues in Cavan Monaghan.
“Cavan and Monaghan are no different than any other counties in Ireland. We have to make sure that the drug dealers don't take over and we will endeavour to provide as much assistance as we can for people who are taking drugs,” he said.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Celt, the head of the Cavan Monaghan Division said that the new unit will be taking a hard stance with drug dealing and organised crime. “We have a very good divisional force. Certain people are driving expensive cars and living in expensive houses and how are they doing this? Where are they getting the money from? They are not working.
“We have complaints from the community about these people displaying distinctive signs of wealth,” detailed the senior Garda. Chief Supt Mangan spent seven years in the national drug unit tackling dealers ranging from local to international: “Drugs like heroin and cocaine are absolutely devastating for communities. When they get a foothold they will drag a community into the gutter.”
He went on to say that, although a huge amount of work has been done over the years in Cavan Monaghan, there is an obvious difficulty with drugs in the area.
The Cavan-Monaghan Garda division's dedicated drugs unit was axed in January 2013 after 14 years in operation. At the time, the members of Divisional Drugs Unit, which comprised of four gardaí and one detective sergeant, were redeployed into the general force.
* See 40-41 for interview with the Chief Superintendent.