Gardaí launch Operation Tara targeting street drug dealing

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Gardaí have today launched a nationwide operation involving hundreds of officers, targeting street level drug dealing.

Operation Tara will have a strong focus on tackling drug dealing in cities, towns and villages across the country.

The stated aim is to dismantle and prosecute drug trafficking networks, at all levels – international, national, local – involved in the importation, distribution, cultivation, production, local sale and supply of controlled drugs.

There were 321 officers specifically assigned to Divisional Drugs Units around the country as of May 31.

Last year Gardaí seized a total of 137/8kg of cocaine valued at €9.5 million, 368.6kg of cannabis with a value of €7.3 million, and 41.4kg of heroin worth €5.8 million.

Also seized were 32,000 tablets of ecstasy, MDMA, or LSD, and 471,400 benzodiazepine tablets.

Among the larger seizures recently highlighted at the launch of Operation Tara was €90,000 worth of cocaine seized last May 12, when a car was stopped and searched outside Tuam.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said that the term ‘recreational drug use’ hides the “irreparable harm” that drugs cause to individuals and communities.

“Every person who continues to buy and consume illegal drugs inflicts untold damage to individuals under coercive control from organised drug gangs in Ireland, is putting money directly in the pockets of drug cartels, and is responsible for the damage done to communities here and abroad from drugs.”

“Under Operation Tara there will be a particular focus on street level dealing. Not only is this dealing devastating for the individual buying the drugs and their loved ones, it is also corrosive for local communities to have to witness it.”

“It is no longer the case that such dealing is confined to our cities and urban areas, it is now happening in towns and villages around the country. Operation Tara will tackle this scourge.”