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Operation TARA - National Garda Anti-Drugs Operation Commences

National Garda Anti-Drugs Operation Commences

- Operation Tara will have a strong focus on tackling street-level dealing in cities, towns and villages across the country  

On 1st July 2021 An Garda Síochána commenced an enhanced national anti-drugs strategy - Operation Tara.

The goal of Operation Tara is to protect communities from the scourge of illegal drugs in line with An Garda Síochána’s mission of Keeping People Safe.

The focus of Operation Tara is to disrupt, dismantle and prosecute drug trafficking networks, at all levels - international, national, local - involved in the importation, distribution, cultivation, production, local sale and supply of controlled drugs.

Under Operation Tara, individuals and groups involved in the drug trade will be the target of enforcement activity based on intelligence and the latest crime trends.

Throughout An Garda Síochána’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic Garda Commissioner Drew Harris highlighted that resources assigned to specialist units, including drugs units, were not affected by emergency measures.

During 2020 An Garda Síochána has resourced Divisional Drugs Units in all Garda Divisions in preparation for Operation Tara.  As of 31st May 2021, 321 members are full time assigned to Divisional Drug Units across every Garda Division.

The uninterrupted policing of organised crime at a national level and the considerable increase in the size of Divisional Drug Units has seen significant amounts of drugs seized and arrests made.

During 2020 An Garda Síochána seized in excess of:

  • 137.8kg Cocaine  €9.5million
  • 368.6kg Cannabis  €7.3 million
  • 41.4kg Diamorphine  €5.8 million
  • 28.4kg/ 32,000 Amphetamines/ Tablets (MDMA/ LSD/ Ecstacy) €1.1 million
  • 471,400 Benzodiazepine tablets €750,000

Speaking at Garda Headquarters Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said, "The term ‘recreational’ drug use is a dangerous misnomer that hides the irreparable damage that illegal and dangerous drugs cause to individuals and society. A current generation is suffering from and will be lost to the menace of this illegal drug use.

"Every person who continues to buy and consume illegal drugs inflicts untold damage to individuals under coercive control from organised drug gangs in Ireland, is putting money directly in the pockets of drug cartels, and is responsible for the damage done to communities here and abroad from drugs.”

"Under Operation Tara there will be a particular focus on street level dealing. Not only is this dealing devastating for the individual buying the drugs and their loved ones, it is also corrosive for local communities to have to witness it.”

"It is no longer the case that such dealing is confined to our cities and urban areas, it is now happening in towns and villages around the country. Operation Tara will tackle this scourge.”

In addition, An Garda Síochána has a well-established Drug Related Intimidation Reporting Programme. Each Garda Division has selected and appointed an Inspector with the specific responsibility for the implementation of the Drug Related Intimidation Reporting Programme

Implementing this programme in conjunction with Community Support Organisations, An Garda Síochána will deal with any complaint of drug related intimidation or advice sought in relation to this issue with the utmost safety and confidentiality. Any victim of drug intimidation who contacts us will be provided with security advice and support. 

The impact of the resourced Divisional Drugs Units has been highlighted right throughout 2020 and into 2021.  For example…

8th April 2020 –Divisional Drugs Unit Laois searched a male in his 30s discovered to be in possession of 1kg of cannabis.  During a follow up search, €500,000 worth of cannabis and €35,000 worth of cocaine and other drug paraphernalia recovered.

21st May 2020 - Divisional Drugs Unit Cork City during the course of a search operation seized approximately half a kilo of suspected heroin with an estimated street value of €70,000.  A second search conducted in an industrial premise, a quantity of heroin, Xanax tablets, ecstasy and cocaine with an estimated street value of €167,000 seized.

16th July 2020 - Divisional Drugs Unit DMR West (Blanchardstown) carried out a search of a residence in the Kingswood area of Dublin 22. Gardaí seized an assortment of suspected controlled drugs including 34kg vacuum packed cannabis with an estimated value of €680,000, MDMA with an estimated value of €40,860, pink Upjohn tablets valued at €22,146, blue ecstasy tablets valued at €176,190, pink powder for Upjohn tablets valued at €168,000 and €3,550 respectively, white ecstasy tablets valued at €66,240, ketamine valued at €60,000, Xanax tablets valued at €81,700 and further ecstasy valued at €1,187,500.

1st August 2020 – Divisional Drugs Unit DMR West (Blanchardstown) conducted search under warrant at a house, suspected cocaine with an estimated value of €171,000 and suspected cannabis herb with an estimated value of €270,000 seized.

18th August 2020 –Divisional Drugs Unit Louth (Dundalk) executed a search of a house under warrant, cannabis plants at varying stages of growth were located and seized along with approximately 13Kg of suspected cannabis herb, total value of the plants and drugs seized is believed to be in excess of €310,000.

20th November 2020 –Divisional Drugs Unit DMR South (Tallaght) executed a search warrant located two large plastic barrels which contained 76.9kg of suspected ecstasy tablets packed in bags and 8.27kg of suspected MDMA in blocks. The total drugs seized believed to be €5 million.

19th December 2020 –Divisional Drugs Unit Kildare carried out a search of a residence in the Newbridge area, Cocaine and Cannabis Herb with a combined value believed to be €126,500 discovered along with other drug paraphernalia.

13th January 2021 - Divisional Drugs Unit Mayo carried out searches of a derelict property in Ballina, Gardaí seized suspected cocaine valued at €70,000 and suspected cannabis herb valued at €20,000.  During the second search, at a house, Gardaí seized suspected cocaine with a value of €9,500 and cannabis valued at €2,700.

23rd January 2021 – Divisional Drugs Unit Roscommon/ Longford conducted a search under warrant at a residence, during the course of this search, a sophisticated cannabis growhouse was located, value of the suspected cannabis plants recovered by Gardaí was approximately €45,000. Gardaí also seized approximately €85,000 of suspected cannabis herb.

23rd January 2021 - Divisional Drugs unit Waterford carried out a search of two vehicles approximately €90,000 of cocaine (pending analysis) and €64,000 in cash seized

29th January 2021, Divisional Drugs Unit Sligo seized more than €45,000 in suspected illegal drugs and cash in five separate searches conducted in Sligo town, including 4,000 worth of suspected cocaine having stopped and searched a driver; €5,500 of Xanax and Alprozolan tablets and almost €1,500 worth of suspected cannabis herb at a house; a search of open ground cannabis herb, estimated to be worth €10,000; search of open ground approximately €21,000 worth of suspected cocaine; search of a premises seized €2,000 worth of suspected cocaine and €1,250 in cash.

6th February 2021 - Divisional Drugs Unit Wexford carried out a search of a house, Amphetamine and Cannabis to the value of approximately €66,000 seized.

15th March 2021 - Divisional Drugs Unit Kerry executed a search warrant at an apartment seized suspected xanax tablets estimated street value of €8,000, €37,200 of suspected cocaine

30th March 2021 - Divisional Drugs Unit DMR North (Ballymun) carried out the search of a residence seized 9kg of suspected cannabis herb with an estimated street value of approximately €160,000.

16th April 2021 - Divisional Drugs Units from Clare and Limerick in the course of the search of a wooded area seized cannabis with a street value of €50,000

12th May 2021 - Divisional Drugs Unit Galway stopped and searched a car on the outskirts of Tuam a quantity of suspected cocaine, with an estimated value of €90,000 seized

6th June 2021 - Divisional Drugs Unit Louth (Drogheda) conducted a number of searches at houses, €180,000 of Cannabis herb, €45,000 of cannabis plant and €7,000 cash seized across the two separate locations.

11th June 2021 - Divisional Drugs Unit Cork City executed a search warrant at a container and seized €55,000 of suspected cannabis herb, €5,000 of suspected cocaine and a small quantity of suspected diazepam tablets.

Contact Information: 

Drugs Importation/ Supply:

  • Members of the public with information on drug importation and supply can report the information as follows:

Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111

Crime Stoppers 1850 250 025

Revenue and Customs Drug Watch/ Coastal Watch 1800 295 295 NPC@revenue.ie

  • Anyone who is a victim of Drugs Related Intimidation or has information on drugs related intimidation can contact

Local Garda Station

Garda website - https://www.garda.ie/en/crime/drugs/drug-related-intimidation-reporting-programme-inspectors-june-2021.pdf

Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111

  • Anyone with information on persons who they suspect are living on the proceeds of crime can report this activity to the

Criminal Assets Bureau 01-6663266, info@cab.ieGarda Confidential Line 1800 666 111CrimeStoppers 1800 25 00 25.