As demand rises for cannabis around the world the old drug economy is digging its heels in, and, we’d suggest ,generating a lot of revenue for some very unsavoury characters.
Here’s what’s happening in Ireland according to a report in Growt Op
“The recreational drug-user — the guy who takes cocaine at weekends — may not be spending their money on cocaine, as we saw with the fall-off in usage during the economic crash in 2008,” a police source told The Irish Times.
As for cannabis, which is also illegal, the source pointed out little change in demand.
“Probably 60 per cent to 70 per cent of people who smoke weed do it at home watching television or walking the dog or fishing or whatever — that’s how they always smoked it, and that will continue,” the Garda source said.
Here’s how the pandemic has had a significant impact on illegal trade and some long-standing gang feuds in these three areas in Ireland.
Longford gang fights go virtual
Armed attacks between criminal factions were so alarming in Longford last summer that police had to patrol the streets armed.
The unrest rose as a result of a feud between two families belonging to the Irish Travellers community and has been going on for the past two years. Both sides are also known to be part of the drug business.
As far as trading goes, the outbreak has put a stop to it. The demand for drugs hasn’t gone down, but it has dramatically changed. “Cocaine is on its knees now. It’s either not coming in or there is no demand for it as everyone isn’t out on a Saturday night. What is happening and this is just from chatting around the town, is that the demand for cannabis has increased significantly,” one source with knowledge of the drug trade in the town told MSN.
As for the fights, that’s ongoing too. They just moved it online.
Finglas family feuds
The unrest in this region is especially deadly because of the local Kinahan-Hutch family feud.
Gerry Hutch was shot dead in his apartment in 2015, and the war between the two families escalated. As of 2017, 12 people were reported to be shot dead as a result.
Meanwhile, Finglas drugs boss, who is nicknamed ‘Mr Flashy,’ attacked a member of the Hutch gang in 2018. Flashy has also been using supplies from Kinahan to establish his monopoly in the region. Since the coronavirus outbreak, his business hasn’t been thriving.
“Gardaí investigating the warring gangs believe that the 27-year-old gangster may even be in trouble as he is said to owe a six-figure sum to a supplier which he has yet to pay due to the lack of people buying the product. Flashy himself has been trying to offload some of his supply to other local dealers, it’s believed. However, these dealers are reluctant to buy the supply when demand has reached nearly zero,” MSN reports.
With restrictive movement shutting down operations, many dealers are reportedly using the postal service to move product.
Drogheda’s drug trade
The feud in the region began in 2018 after a failed murder attempt on gang boss Owen Maguire. But what came after shocked the nation. Earlier this year, 17-year-old Keane Mulready-Woods of Drogheda, was brutally killed and his dismembered remains discovered days later. The violence in the region escalated only to be thwarted quite recently.
“Just like in Finglas and Longford, the streets of this large town are essentially empty — yet gardaí believe that the reduction of violence in the area is down to logistics rather than any sort of ongoing ceasefire,” MSN reports.
The drug trade had taken a hit due to the high amount of police seizures, but restrictive measures due to the outbreak are not making things easier either.
As the pandemic is here to stay for the unforeseeable future, dealers across Ireland are switching gears to meet the change in demand. MSN reports, “Cannabis is now in high-demand, according to gardaí and community officers, and so too are benzodiazepines such as Xanax. These drugs are usually dispensed to treat people who suffer with anxiety disorders and panic attacks.”