Gardai urged to clamp down on ‘scumbags’

Cllr Gerry Warnock
Longford’s drug problem will only improve if State agencies take an “iron fist” approach when dealing with drug pushers, it has been claimed.

Longford’s drug problem will only improve if State agencies take an “iron fist” approach when dealing with drug pushers, it has been claimed.

In a strongly worded outburst at last week’s meeting of Longford Town Council’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) hearing, Cllr Gerry Warnock called for greater intimidatory tactics to be levelled against known dealers.

“It’s time to take the gloves off,” he said. “All these guys are doing is laughing and yet they are ruining people’s lives.”

The Independent councillor took specific umbrage at some of the goings on inside the likes of Palace Crescent and Cluian Ard, urban estates that have previously courted unwanted attention in relation to anti-social issues.

It’s not the first time either Cllr Warnock has questioned the State’s response in tackling high level organised crime.

In November 2011, he revealed how his own discussions with local constituents had shown that Longford town was “full of drugs and full of scumbags,” a turn of phrase he repeated at last week’s meeting.

“This thing of tip-toeing around the issue is not my style. You have to take an iron fist approach,” he said.

Listening on, Superintendent Denis Shields said gardaí could only work within the parameters set down by legislaters as a means of curbing drug related crime.

“You have to enforce the law in a way that is in compliance with it,” he said.