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Discovery of ammunition in drug hauls a ‘sinister’ development

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Ammunition discovered along with €333,000 of drugs in Ballina drug raids

Anton McNulty

The discovery of ammunition during a major garda operation which recovered an estimated €333,000 worth of drugs was described as ‘sinister’ by councillors who congratulated gardaí on the drug haul.
Five people were arrested on Thursday last when gardaí searched eight properties in the Ballina region, which included the discovery of a growhouse in Attymass which contained approximately €265,000 worth of cannabis plants.
The co-ordinated search operation involving members of the Mayo Divisional Drugs Taskforce, the Armed Support Unit, the Garda Dog Unit and local gardaí, began at 9am on Thursday morning and did not conclude until 10pm that evening.
Searches of other properties in the Ballina region also resulted in the seizure of €30,000 worth of cannabis herb in a garden shed while another house contained €11,000 worth of cocaine.
Cannabis herb worth approximately €20,000 was seized in another house, along with €7,000 worth of cocaine and a quantity of steroid tablets and what was described as a small quantity of ammunition.
The seizure of the drugs was discussed at Friday’s monthly meeting of the Ballina Municipal District where councillors congratulated the Mayo Divisional Drugs Taskforce on their work. Cathaoirleach of the Ballina Municipal District, Cllr Michael Loftus said he was delighted with the work of the gardaí but felt the discovery of ammunition was a sinister development.
“One of the sinister things which was found was ammunition and that to me is a frightening thing to hear. Without ammunition, guns are no good and I would be worried about this.
“We have drugs in all our towns and villages and this is just the tip of the iceberg but at least it is a positive start and hope they continue the good work,” said Cllr Loftus, who is also a member of the Mayo Joint Policing Committee.
Fine Gael councillor Jarlath Munnelly also congratulated the gardaí, adding extra resources also needed to be put into preventative measures and programmes to dissuade young people getting involved in drugs in the first place.  
Meanwhile a Westport teenage woman was arrested in Co Roscommon after she was found transporting €50,000 worth of cocaine.
The arrest and seizure of the cocaine occurred on Friday, May 22 following a search of a vehicle stopped on the N5 at Tulsk at approximately 7.30pm. The female, in her late teens who is from Westport, was arrested and detained in Castlerea Garda Station under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996.
It is understood that the woman was transporting the drugs which gardaí believe was destined to be delivered to a known drug dealer in Westport for distribution.