IRA drugs link doubted


The head of the Garda National Drugs Unit, Det Chief Supt Cormac Gordon has said there is no evidence to suggest paramilitary figures are involved in drug dealing.

He said while there may be fears that some paramilitaries will turn to drug dealing now that the Provisional IRA has been stood down, there was no intelligence at present to suggest this was happening.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1, Det Chief Supt Gordon said the use of cocaine had increased in recent years. However, cannabis remained the most popular drug followed by ecstasy, cocaine and heroin.

A small number of Irish drug dealers based in Spain and Holland were supplying the Irish market. These had built up contacts in those jurisdictions which enabled them to source cocaine for around €30,000 per kilo.

When the drug arrived here it was 80 per cent pure and was diluted with substances so that "one kilo could be turned into two or three".

Each diluted kilo would sell on the streets for up to €70,000. This resulted in a street value in Ireland of up to €210,000 for every €30,000 kilo of cocaine bought in Spain - a 700 per cent profit.

There were greater opportunities than ever to bring drugs into Ireland because of the volume of people now entering the country, he said.