'Kids being offered free heroin by these vermin' - Johnstown councillor
Drug dealers are openly offering bags of heroin to young students for free, according to a Meath councillor who wants to stop gangs from taking over a community.
Independent councillor Alan Lawes is organising a public meeting in Johnstown, Navan, to take action against "scumbags" who, he says, are brazenly dealing near local schools and shops.
He claims teenagers as young as 13 are being offered taster bags of heroin in an effort to get them hooked on the addictive substance.
In a post on social media, he said: "I have lived in Johnstown now for nearly 20 years. In that time I have got to know many great people. They are scattered all around the different estates in the community.
"They volunteer on school boards, with the GAA and soccer teams, boxing clubs and Tidy Towns, and enter Pride of Place competitions, all with the intention of making Johnstown a better place to live for all of us.
"Then we have the small minority that give Johnstown a bad name.
"The scumbags who are now starting to deal drugs openly on the streets. Recently they have been dealing heroin openly in the community. Not only that, they have been offering children heroin in an attempt to get them hooked on drugs.
"They have been seen offering children heroin in the open, in front of the shopping centre and near the school.
"We all know who they are and as a community we need to work together to rid our community of this vermin.
"I am appealing to parents in the community to work with gardai and ring gardai on their confidential phone number 1800 666 111 and give them any information they have.
"We can't allow this small group of scumbags to take over and ruin a very good community.
"In the meantime, if you have any information pass it to gardai or to me, and let's together take our community back from the small group of scumbags who are intent on ruining a great community."
A public meeting is now being organised in the coming weeks after the huge reaction he has received from his post.
"The reaction has been phenomenal and I'm organising a public meeting to see how we can stop this," he added.
"I'm a member of the local Tidy Towns and have found on numerous occasions used syringes. It's heroin for God's sake and it's being offered to our young children - who are at an experimental age as it is - for free.
"I've been called by parents whose kids have been offered a bag of heroin. They didn't know what it was. You can see them openly dealing the stuff in public places in front of people.
"They don't care. They feel like they own this area and can deal openly.
"We have to act and stop this. We are a community of 10,000 people and the dealers are just a handful. We have to be the eyes and ears of gardai and report any suspicious car, registration, activity, no matter how small."
Meath crime prevention officer, Sergeant Dean Kerins, said: "Navan has a dedicated divisional drug unit who are very active. If someone sees any dealing or any suspicious activity, I'd advise them to contact the unit immediately.
"If they don't want to be identified, please ring the Garda Confidential Line."