A DIGGER has torn down the remaining out buildings which were being used by junkies in a move which would have appeared to have brought a closure to the Avenue Road drugs den saga.
Diggers moved in on Tuesday 18 December, the same day that this paper published another article revealing that the den was still being regularly used by drug addicts, despite the main structures having been torn down months ago. +
One local resident who told the paper recently that he feared needles from junkies might infect chidlren with AIDs and Hep C said that he was “relieved” the final shed was demolished and that the unthinking drug addicts would have to find somewhere new to get their fix.
Two weeks ago the council had said that they would move on the site after Christmas, but it seems that the owners have gotten there first in a bid to tidy up the problematic site.
Cllr Tomas Sharkey, who spearheaded the campaign to tackle the den, says he is glad that the issue has been resolved. “It’s looks like it has been resolved alright.
“Credit has to go to the residents of the area who have put up with so much over the last year. They and their children have had to see things that no one should have to see.
“Credit also should go to Dundalk Town Council, who had to do this the right way.
“From my position as a elected member, I had a duty of care to safety of the public in this situation. I would also like to send out a message to the owners of vacant properties who could potentially be used as drugs den. These people need to understand that they have a responsibility to maintain their property, they can’t just let the council do the work for them. If they do they could be left with a substantial bill by the end of proceedings.”
Cllr Sharkey says that people have to look at this in the context of the pressure that are being placed on the Dundalk drug squad, who he believes are being waylaid with paperwork.
“In 2012 up until last month there 79 arrests for posession of drugs, down 56 from the previous. In 2012 there were 38 arrests for posession for the purpose of resale, down 29 from 2011. The reason for the drop is not that there are less drugs on the streets, but rather that the unit are being snowed under with paper work from last year. I would say that the Minister for Justice needs to find a new way of processing arrests that doesn’t see gardaí doing paper work rather then being out in the field.”