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Tuesday, 7th July 2020

Use seized drug money to fund groups such as the Red Door - McQuillan

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Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan and Councillor Paddy McQuillan.

Drogheda Councillor Paddy McQuillan has asked for some of the large sums of cash seized from drug dealers in recent weeks to be put towards funding community drug rehabilitation units such as the Red Door and the Family Support Network.

Garda Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan told yesterday’s meeting of the Drogheda Joint Policing Committee that an added dimension to the many drugs seizures in recent weeks was the huge sums of cash that had also been seized

He said that 129 people had been arrested in the division and that three or four weeks ago they had seized over €300,000 in cash in a house in Drogheda.  He described the success of the Drogheda Division as “phenomenal” and way ahead of other divisions in the country.

“Operation stratus has had the desired effect” he said. “The problem hasn’t gone away but we are certainly on top of it and many of the people involved are serving lengthy jail sentences. Unfortunately though, there are always other people there to take their place.”

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When Councillor Paddy McQuillan asked the Chief Superintendent what happened to all of the cash that had been seized he was told:

“I’d love to say that it went to the Red Door and places such as that, and that’s where it should probably be going,” the Chief Superintendent said, “but it actually goes to the department of Finance, back into the Government coffers.”

“A million Euros wold be a nice sizeable sum to fund the Red Door and all the other projects but sadly it doesn’t go towards the services which are badly needed.”

Councillor McQuillan asked Deputy Fergus O’Dowd to raise the issue with the Minister for Justice to see if it would be possible to get some of the seized money redistributed into the community for organisations such as the Red Door and the Family Support Network in Dundalk and others who he said were all “strapped for cash.”

Deputy O’Dowd said he was all in favour of the idea and would raise the matter with Minister McEntee who had agreed to meet him in the near future.

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