Thursday, 19 November 2015
I thank the Minister of State for attending. This issue is a question of resources as regards combating the smuggling of drugs into the country via the south-west coast. As the Minister of State knows, we have one of the longest coastlines in Europe and the seas which surround us form a large jurisdiction. From the information I have received from people on the ground, not enough personnel are deployed to tackle drug smuggling on the south-west coast. I would welcome the Minister of State's comments in this regard. What is the specific number of personnel dedicated to the issue? All gardaí are involved in the prevention of smuggling but how many are there whose full-time job it is to gather information on the people living in our communities who act as lookouts and co-ordinate the landing of shipments? These landings might happen only once every year or two years but that is why those people are on the ground. Only intelligence-led policing will lead to the smugglers being captured.