Drug dealers targeting school students during lunch break

By Mary Dennehy

LUNCHTIME drug-dealing targeting secondary school students is on the increase across local communities, The Echo has been told.

In recent months, the issue of ‘open dealing’ across communities has been firmly fixed on the agenda, with the Tallaght Drugs and Alcohol Task Force (TDATF) erecting more than 200 Crimestoppers posters locally in an attempt to tackle the issue – and to encourage people to report any dealing they see to the confidential phone line.

cannabis stock 09052017

The latest trend in relation to open drug-dealing is the targeting of secondary school students on their break, with drugs, mainly cannabis, being pushed in the vicinity of local shopping centres and other locations where teenagers congregate for their lunch hour.

Labour Party councillor Mick Duff, who is also the co-ordinator of the Community Drug Treatment Project in St Aengus, told The Echo: “The lunchtime drug-dealing trade is rampant across the area, with drugs coming into the area specifically destined for the school market.

“Students are coming out to get a roll and these vultures are waiting for them.

“The lads dealing are not much older than the students and a lot of them would know one another from around the estate, which makes the job of the dealer a lot easier.”

He added: “It’s mostly cannabis and in small quantities that are being sold and while cannabis may not be a gateway drug for everyone, it will be for some.

“I know the argument exists that cannabis is not problematic, but lunchtime dealing and the accessibility to drugs so openly in communities normalises drug use for young people . . . and you can see them every day standing in groups of eight or nine with the dealer in amongst them.”

Cllr Duff is this week encouraging parents to be aware of the situation and asking members of the community that see open drug-dealing to report it.

“Drug-dealing is fearless now and is at the moment so blatantly apparent in our communities,” Cllr Duff said.

“It has become part of everyday life but we shouldn’t step back and accept it, we need to all come together and that includes parents.

“Parents can’t be naive in thinking that their kids aren’t exposed to this, because they are.

“All of the schools are aware of the situation and many are very pro-active . . . and we need a whole community response – schools, parents, gardai and residents – to tackle the dangerous emergence of open dealing on our streets.”

To contact Tallaght Garda Station call 6666000 or Crimestoppers can be reached on 1800 25 00 25.

For support, services or advice visit the Tallaght Drugs and Alcohol Task Force’s website where local services are listed, www.datf.ie or call 4649303.

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