Number of gardaí on drug unit drops

The number of Gardaí forming the drugs unit in Cavan and Monaghan has fallen again.

The Anglo-Celt reported in August that the specialised unit was made up of a total of three gardaí, effectively seeing the unit’s allocation cut in half since 2019. That’s now fallen again to just two, one Sergeant and one Garda, across counties Cavan and Monaghan, as of August 31.

Concerns over increasing levels of drug dealing and drug-related crime led to the unit’s reestablishment in 2017.

Releasing the figures, Justice Minister Helen McEntee said the distribution of gardaí within each specific division lies with each Chief Superintendent.

“I understand that it is a matter for the Divisional Chief Superintendent to determine the optimum distribution of duties among the personnel available to them, having regard to the profile of each area within the Division and its specific needs.”

The drop in the number of drugs Gardaí comes as concerns about open drug dealing taking place in towns across the region. Cavan’s Joint Policing Committee heard calls for better policing to tackle ongoing issues in parts of Cootehill.

The data from the Justice Minister shows a total of 385 gardaí are stationed across Cavan and Monaghan, a 21% increase since the end of 2016.