NewsCrime Desk

Scumbag dealers selling gear yards from drug treatment centre

Crime DeskBy Patrick O'Connell
Scumbag dealers selling gear yards from drug treatment centre

HEARTLESS drug dealers have sunk to a new low and are openly flogging their poison just yards from the entrance to one of Ireland’s biggest treatment service centres.

In scenes straight out of hit show US hit-show ‘The Wire’, we watched as the death dealers set up shop from 10am in the morning on the doorsteps of a residential building adjacent to Merchants Quay Ireland.

Our surveillance team watched on as vulnerable addicts seeking help from the service were forced to walk through a gauntlet set up by the dealers on either side of the footpath.

And, tragically, how the resistance of those seeking help crumbled moments after they left the centre only to hand over wads of cash to the dealers in exchange for small parcels of drugs.

Clad in hoody’s with scarfs covering their faces, the dealers made little or no attempt to disguise the hand-offs.

The speed at which the cash was collected and then the packets of tablets and powder were retrieved from the inside of a bin, from gaps in the brick-work on the building, from behind the power box and handed over in seconds showed a well-oiled slick operation.

Although this newspaper watched for a number of hours and, on one occasion workers from Merchants Quay appeared to ask the dealers to move on, the pleas fell on deaf ears.

The Merchants Quay workers were alerted after one client of the centre was approached and then went to tell security at the centre what was happening.

But the dealers couldn’t have cared less!

MOVE ON: Dealer ignores orders to go away from clinic staff

At no stage during our five hour surveillance operation did any Gardai approach the burgeoning drugs drop op.

Instead throughout the day we watched the three dealers who appeared to be running the operation phone for fresh deliveries as their stash ran low.

On the eve of St Patrick’s Day, it appeared the Garda clampdown that has pushed the dealers out of the city centre had served only focus their attention on their most vulnerable clients – the drug addicts seeking help at Merchants Quay Ireland.

Merchants Quay Ireland offering a service to users aimed at providing easily accessible treatment for drug users who wish to become drug free.

They refer addicts seeking help on to programmes such as High Park Rehab and Detox where they can avail of a 17-week fully residential programme.

The programmes available offer clients a period of residential treatment in a drug and alcohol-free environment.

Homeless campaigner Peter McVerry said the scenes demonstrated in graphic details the most basic problem facing addicts seeking help.

“Wherever drug users congregate for whatever reason including that they are seeking help, the dealers are also congregating.

“From their point of view there is a ready market and from a business point of view it makes sense.

“It is something that is impossible for organisations such as Merchants Quay to police because even when they confront them and try to move them on they will only move a few yards further down the street.

“They are likes flies and because of the nature of the clients these organisations deal with there is a reluctance to call the Gardai as the people they are trying to help have a very uneasy relationship with the Gardai.

“These people are dealing the same drugs to their clients: crystal meth still hasn’t really taken hold but what we are seeing is that tablets have become very prevalent; tablets mixed with heroin; crack cocaine and other stuff that is a combination of four or five different kinds of drugs.

“The combinations drugs are the most difficult to get off because it is virtually impossible for a user to come off four or five different kinds of drugs at once.

“The Gardai have had some success with the undercover officers who are going out and purchasing drugs from these people and later bringing prosecutions.

“But the reality is that it doesn’t stop them.

“Some of these people have been convicted of selling to undercover officers two or three times and they will be caught again.

“My attitude towards this is, unfortunately, as things now stand is one of resignation.

“There is very little we can do about supply other than walk someone who is particularly vulnerable in and out of the treatment centres past the dealers.

“It is very frustrating both for people trying to help the addicts and for the addicts themselves.”

No-one was available from Merchants Quay Ireland to comment when The Sunday World made contact on Friday.