The number of gardaí in Donegal’s divisional drugs unit has been cut by half in the past 8 years.
There are six gardaí currently assigned to tackling drugs across Donegal.
Back in 2011, there was shock as the local drugs unit was slashed due to budget cuts.
Since then, the number of personnel in the unit has fluctuated in recent years. In 2018, there were two gardaí in the Donegal drugs unit. Four gardaí were assigned to the unit in 2017.
Fianna Fáil TD John Curran, who received the recent data on drugs units across Ireland, said the cuts are unacceptable. Deputy Curran is calling for extra resources for Specialist Bureaus such as the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.
It comes as the number of controlled drug offences is on the rise in Donegal. There were 287 crimes related to controlled drugs, including cannabis, in Donegal in 2018. In the first two months of 2019 the total has already reached 245.
Minister for Justice and Equality, Charles Flanagan, has said that an extra €122 million has been allocated to increase An Garda Síochána’s budget for 2020 to €1.882 billion. He said that additional resources are coming on stream for Specialist Bureaus such as the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.