Drugs seizures top 33 mark in nine months
By Maurice Garvey
THERE have been 33 drug seizures in Ballyfermot in the first nine months of the year, according to the latest garda figures.
The drug hauls amount to approximately one seizure per week, and form part of ongoing garda operations in the area.
Some of the busts include a major operation in July, which saw drugs and firearms worth €4 million seized at a lock-up on Ballyfermot Parade.
Gardai believe the lock-up was being used as a base by the Kinahan crime gang to store firearms, distribute drugs and count cash.
Along with discovering 180kg of cannabis herb and 3kg of heroin, gardai recovered a cash counting machine, stun guns and two firearms (a sawn-off shotgun and a semi-automatic pistol).
Follow-up searches by gardai in the south inner city led to the arrest of three men.
Some of the major operations in Ballyfermot are conducted by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, and supported by the Special Crime Task Force.
Another drug seizure in May saw former Leeds United and Republic of Ireland youth team player Robert Bayly charged, after gardai stopped a car in Cherry Orchard, and seized cannabis herb with a street value of €240,000.
Meanwhile, gardai seized 15 cars in Ballyfermot, during a two-week period near the end of October.
Since a major operation started three years ago, gardai have seized 360 vehicles in the wider Ballyfermot area.
The operation forms part of efforts to reduce the amount of cheap bangers bought online by youths, which are used for speeding in parts of Ballyfermot and Clondalkin and later burnt out.