THERE has been a significant seizure of drugs that were for sale or supply in the Ennis area, according to a local Garda Chief.
Superintendent John Galvin told members of a Joint Policing Committee meeting on Monday that a person has been arrested in relation to this haul, which is regarded as a major blow to the local drugs trade.
The figures showed the seizure of drugs for sale or supply fell from 68 from January to October 2021 to 32 from January to October 2022, a drop of 53%.
Detection of so-called simple possession fell from 143 to 110, which translated into a drop of 23%.
Serious injury as a result of road accidents in the Clare Division fell 50% from 22 to 11, speeding offences dropped by 7% from 3,749 to 3,478.
However, motorists caught driving without car insurance increased 24% from 110 to 136, while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs went up 39% from 82 to 114 during the same period.
Citing the Covid-19 factor, Superintendent Galvin said there was a lot more people socialising and travelling in 2022 compared to last year.
Superintendent Galvin acknowledged there were two road fatalities in East Clare within a short period that were tragic for the families involved.
However, road deaths that are lower than ten for the last two years are low compared to national trends.
The number of public order offences fell by 19% from 192 to 173, assault causing harm went up slightly from 53 to 55, while minor assault jumped 8% from 207 to 223.
Breaches of a barring order, safety order and protection order went up 3%, while a domestic dispute with no offence disclosed experienced a 13% hike.
He said that rape and sexual assault offences have also increased, which he attributed to more reporting and better recording of these crimes.
Commenting on the 24% increase in offenders with no car insurance, Councillor PJ Ryan said people on the minimum wage were often presented with an insurance premium of up to €1,000, with a request to pay this up front in one instalment.
He said insurance companies were not interested in setting up monthly payments and instead referred people on to money lenders that provide loans at exorbitant interest rates.
He said there is an onus on insurance companies to give something back by making it easier for motorists to pay their premium in instalments in view of the fact local authorities effectively support insurance companies by requesting anyone taxing their car to provide their insurance details when they are renewing their car tax.
Superintendent Galvin said the insurance issue was a matter for another forum.
Councillor Pat Daly asked if there is a Garda Confidential line after speaking to Ennis people who knew where drugs were being hidden in the town but were “afraid to open their mouth”.
“These people are very vital to the gardai and they can tell the gardai about these episodes.”
Superintendent Galvin said people who wanted to contact the national Garda Confidential Line could ring 1800 666 111 with information that will be then passed on to local gardai.