Towns and villages along Shannon Estuary awash with cocaine: Lawyer

By Jimmy Woulfe

Towns and villages along the Shannon Estuary are awash with cocaine, a member of the Limerick Joint Policing Committee has warned.

Lawyer and local councillor Emmett O'Brien said the region is in the grip of a "cancerous web" of coke addiction.

He also said talented young players are being forced to give up sport because of drug abuse.

"Cocaine is rife in Askeaton. It is being openly dealt in the town and along the villages on the Shannon Estuary and it is of huge concern.

"I have witnessed this in person; gone into the toilets of some pubs in areas on the Shannon Estuary, and seeing young men, primarily in their late teens using cocaine.

"They see using cocaine as a cheaper night out and there is not a cultural acceptance of it and this is a huge worry."

Cllr O'Brien said most people in these areas know who the dealers are.

"I have raised this with the gardaí at top rank level and there is a mystification among the public that these people are not being moved on. Every vlllage along the Shannon Estuary in West Limerick has the scourge of cocaine. We know who the dealers are and the users, who become the sellers.

"I have had a long discussion with some of my best mates last week, all guys in their late 30s and their early 40s, and they told me stuff I didn't know and there is almost a cultural acceptance of cocaine now. It has a devastating effect on young men, physically," he said.

The Shannon Estuary. Pic: Google Maps

Cllr O'Brien said he could identify the times and names of the people when the cocaine drops would be made from the main dealers coming out from Limerick.

"Where they are going to drop (cocaine) and to whom they are going to drop it to. Then it spreads out over the area like a cobweb, strangling young people.

"I know talented young kids who have walked away from playing GAA, soccer, rugby because they are being caught up."

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