Garda Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan has highlighted Ireland’s massive issue with cocaine. He warned that it was far worse than the heroin epidemic ever was and that the country would lose a generation of young people if the drugs problem wasn’t tackled as a national health issue.

“The country is loaded with cocaine. The dealers are benefiting from their bread and butter, which are the people who use it all the time and then the bumper weekends where everyone from sports people to workers are out buying it for so-called ‘recreational use’. This is doubling the dealer’s money,” he said.

“This is a national problem and if we don’t act as a group with health practitioners and reduce that demand, we will lose a generation of young people. This is very, very serious”, he warned.

Mangan spent 7 years working in the Garda’s National Drugs Unit. He has also served in some of Dublin’s busiest districts and says that he has never seen a drug so acceptable in normal society. His comments back up the results of a study published this month, which state that Illegal drug use has become so common in Dublin that it is regarded as normal and not just the preserve of addicts.

“During the heroin epidemic we had a few dealers to handle and the drug itself was also largely confined into a socioeconomic group. Cocaine knows no such boundaries. There is no shame associated with its usage in the way there was with heroin,” he says.

“Cocaine is literally everywhere, in every county and in every town.”

Cocaine is fueling violence

Thirty extra gardaí have been deployed to the Louth area as a result of a feud, which has resulted in a spree of shootings, arson attacks and violence. The Chief Superintendent says that cocaine is the root of this violence, and says that the problem with warring drug gangs could happen anywhere.

“In Drogheda we are dealing with the fallout when there is serious violence between two groups and the ripple effect of the intimidation against the communities.”

“There are countless ordinary decent families in this area who are living in terror because of drug debts. Their son or daughter may have run up a debt of say €2000, but the dealers are demanding €8000. There is no end to it”, said Mangan.

There have been more than 70 feud-related incidents in Louth town since last year, the most serious of which have been attempted murders, including those of gang boss Owen Maguire and his brother Brendan, who survived shootings. AlphaBiolabs has several drug testing options for cocaine including a home drug testing kit. We also offer Workplace Drug Testing. For information, please call 0140 29466 or email us at