By Noel Dundon
North Tipperary County Councillor Pauline Coonan has called on the local authority to make CCTV footage available to An Garda Siochana so that drug dealers can be identified at the Old Tesco Car Park in Roscrea.
The Fine Gael Councillor, wife of Deputy Noel Coonan, made her comments at the monthly meeting of the council in Nenagh this week and claimed that drugs were being freely sold around the toilet areas.
“It is an absolute scandal that drugs are being sold freely at this location and I think we should be using our resources to verify this. It is so obvious that drugs are being taken here too and we should be liaising with the Gardai to try and combat this scourge,” Cllr Coonan told members during the course of a debate at the meeting.
Suggesting that the County Council’s Litter Wardens should work in conjunction with the Gardai to try and prevent this type of activity in the area, Cllr Coonan said that identifying the dealers would be a very positive step.
“Most people know who they are but if we can bring the evidence to formally identify them, we will be doing the community a great service,” she said.
Councillor Michael Smith rounded on Cllr Coonan and said that the bottle bank area “is only two doors away” from the Garda Station. He described Cllr Coonan’s comments as being “remarkable” and said that if there is evidence of drugdealing, why not report it to the Gardai, rather than coming to the council and trying to get someone else to report it.
North Tipperary County Council’s Director of Services, Mr Matt Shortt said that the council would not be in a position to hand over their CCTV footage which is in place to catch offenders illegally dumping at the location.
“We could not go down that road at all because it is an entirely different system that the Gardai require. There is a process for getting CCTV in towns and villages - Thurles is currently in the process of availing of the scheme, but there is a lot of hard work involved in it,” he said.
Cllr Coonan responded saying she was not happy with the answer she received.