A letter from a mother who had to pay off her 15-year-old son’s E1,900 drug debt, set the tone for Monday night’s meeting in Coláiste Phobail.
Angry residents demanded action from Gardaí, and TDs Michael Lowry and Noel Coonan. Host Derek Russell at times had to calm down proceedings, urging people not to ‘name and shame’ suspected dealers, but to go to the Garda Station. Mr Lowry said we should do nothing to “undermine the guards... they are the last line between us and anarchy.” Supt. Bob Noonan of Nenagh Garda Station said “we have to work together. I’ve been in the police for 37 years. We will continue to do our best.
Roscrea is a 24-hour station at the moment. That’s the way it will stay for the time being. We are examining what’s going on at night time.” Supt. Noonan said he would like to redeploy resources so more Gardaí are out on patrol, rather than in the Station. Supt Noonan stressed that only “20%” of the drug problems could be solved by Gardaí. Townspeople need to pull together. Many residents complained that there are not enough Gardaí on the beat, and they don’t know the local community. Det. Garda Ollie Hennelly said his door is always open to anybody in the town. NTLP Chief Michael Murray said there are facilities for young people in Roscrea, such as the Youth Café, family support, primary care for victims of domestic violence, and methadone treatment.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star. P18.