Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Questions 75 - An Garda Síochána [33972/23].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Questions 75 - An Garda Síochána [33972/23]. (11 Jul 2023)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2023...

75. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice the extent to which she continues to provide adequate resources to enable An Garda Síochána to adequately police organised crime, including drug running, trafficking or other similar activities; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33972/23]

Helen McEntee, Minister for Justice: At the outset I would like to assure the Deputy that tackling drug dealing and associated criminal activity, including by organised crime groups, is a top priority for An Garda Síochána and this Government.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management of Garda resources, including the assignment of Garda members to a given area or specialised unit.

Similarly, the Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, including Garda operations aimed at preventing and countering organised criminal activity, and the enforcement of legislation pertaining to illegal drugs. As Minister, I have no direct role in these operational, policing matters.

The Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) continues to have significant success in disrupting drug trafficking and the supply of illicit drugs by organised crime groups. The Bureau's work is supported by Divisional Drugs Units nationwide, and by all Gardaí working in local communities. The Bureau also works in cooperation with international law enforcement partners.

An Garda Síochána continues to target those involved in street-level dealing across the country and also focuses on disrupting and dismantling the drug trafficking networks that impact on our communities and prosecuting those involved at every level through Operation Tara. Some recent successes of Operation Tara include the seizure last week of cigarettes with an estimated value of €10 million with a loss to the Exchequer of €7.5 million. Last month, also through Operation Tara, Gardaí arrested a man following the seizure of over €1.5 million in cocaine and cash in Dublin and Meath.

I am sure the Deputy will agree, it is important that communities work together with An Garda Síochána in relation to such behaviour. Reporting by the public of illegal activity, including drug dealing or intimidation, is important to assist in this work and there are a range of channels to do so, including through the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111. I encourage anyone with information in that regard to contact An Garda Síochána in this way.

The Deputy may also wish to know that the Garda Commissioner has tasked an Inspector in every Garda Division to respond to the issue of drug-related intimidation. There are currently 30 nominated Garda Inspectors appointed to act as liaison officers for the Drug-Related Intimidation Reporting Programme, covering each Garda Division.

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