06/11/2007

Loyalist Drug Dealers Are "Scum" Says UPRG

Drug-dealers with paramilitary links have been described as “scum” by a leading member of the UDA’s political ally.

Speaking in the aftermath of the suicide of a teenager driven to self harm by misuse of drugs supplied by paramilitaries, Frankie Gallagher from the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG) said those “masquerading as loyalists who are selling drugs are scum”.

He has admitted people with a "UDA background" are involved in drug dealing in north Belfast and also claimed that even women and teenagers were among those dealing in drugs in the Tigers Bay area.

His comments followed the death of a teenager who hanged himself days after taking veterinary tablets.

Mr Gallagher said: "There is one person in particular, there's a number of other people in Tigers Bay…..there's a lot of complex issues."

A doctor from the area has also said the drugs problem was now worse than at any time over the past 30 years.

Dr Sean Donnelly said the situation may be partly due to a greater "freedom" within society because to the peace dividend.

"There's definitely an awful lot more children being presented to me by their parents with the effects of drugs," he said.

The problem has been highlighted by the latest drugs-related tragedy after it emerged that local teenager, Dean Clarke, 16, killed himself after a drugs overdose.

He had earlier spent almost a week in intensive care after taking the overdose - but after being discharged from hospital, he took his own life.

Frankie Gallagher said that the dealers are not 'outsiders': "All of the drug dealing that's going on in Tigers Bay is by people in Tigers Bay. Some of the mothers are actually dealing drugs in Tigers Bay."

He said he accepted that UDA members were involved and added: "The organisation of the UDA is absolutely dedicated and determined no members will be involved in crime or criminality,” he claimed.

The UPRG is an advisory body connected to the Ulster Defence Association, providing advice to them on political matters.

The group is largely a successor to the Ulster Democratic Party, which dissolved in 2001.

(BMcC)


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

06 April 2018
Man Arrested In Connection With Large Drug Seizure
A 37-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a large drug seizure in south Belfast. Specialist officers from the Belfast District Support Team seized suspected amphetamine base, thousands of tablets and suspected cocaine at an address off the Ravenhill Road on Thursday, 05 April. Officers also seized a large sum of cash.
24 August 2018
Man Charged With Drug Related Offences In North Belfast
A 32-year-old man has been charged with a series of drug related offences following a £6 million drug seizure in north Belfast.
01 March 2017
New Ad Campaign Launched To Encourage Reporting Of Drug Dealing
A major ad campaign has been launched urging the public to report drug dealing to Crimstoppers. The campaign, which will feature viral videos alongside bus, adshel, online and radio advertising, aims to highlight the damage drugs do to individuals, families and communities.
17 December 2010
Many Arrests In Gardaí Drugs Raids
A total of 45 people have been arrested in the past 48 hours in Gardaí a crackdown on the sale and supply of heroin and 'crack' cocaine in the Dublin region. The operation, which involved Garda drug units from Kevin Street, Pearse Street and Store Street stations, resulted in 150 charges being brought, according to Gardaí this morning.
27 January 2005
Research reveals extent of drug use in NI
A new report into behavioural habits of injecting drug users in Northern Ireland has found that almost one in three people who use needles to inject drugs have been diagnosed with Hepatitus C.
26 February 2009
NI Drug Deaths Double
The number of drug related deaths registered each year has more than doubled over the last decade rising from 39 deaths in 1997 to 86 last year. The 86 fatalities were registered in Northern Ireland where the cause of death was drug related, either due to legal or illegal drugs.
26 February 2014
Two Men Arrested In Drugs Find
Two men have been arrested in Londonderry following a £150,000 drugs find. Class B drugs were seized at a property in the Waterside area of the city on Tuesday night and police have said two men, aged 68 and 50, have been detained and are helping police with inquiries. A third man, aged in his 20s, was also detained.
25 April 2018
Approximately £30,000 Of Steroids Seized In East Belfast
The PSNI have seized steroids worth around £30,000 from a property in east Belfast. The Class C drugs were recovered following an intelligence-led search at a premises in Castlereagh on Tuesday, 24 April. Three men, aged 32, 47 and 63, were arrested at the scene.
05 October 2017
Call For UVF To Withdraw Threats Made To Catholic Families
Sinn Fein has called on the UVF to withdraw threats made to Catholic families living in south Belfast. Four families have been forced to leave their homes in Cantrell Close after being ordered to leave the area. Gerry Kelly MLA also urged the PSNI to bring those involved to justice.
22 November 2004
Treatment for drug addicts needs to be more diverse - UU
Treatment for drug addicts needs to be more diverse if the drug problem on the island of Ireland is to be solved, University of Ulster research has revealed.
21 October 2003
One-in-five NI people have taken illegal drugs
One-in-five people in Northern Ireland have taken an illegal drug, it was revealed today. The figure was part of a cross-border survey commissioned by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD) in Ireland and the Drug and Alcohol Information and Research Unit (DAIRU) in Northern Ireland.
08 November 2007
Police Deny Drug Dealers Being 'Protected'
There are no police officers ‘protecting’ Belfast drug dealers because they are providing information. Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland said sources were handled in accordance with the strictest national guidelines and were therefore not above the law.
23 May 2018
'Deadly Stash' Of Drugs Discovered In Lurgan Graveyard
Police have discovered a "deadly stash" of drugs in the graveyard of St Coleman's Cemetery in Lurgan. Posting to the PSNI Craigavon Facebook page, police said: "You hear the line in films, "We'll go where the investigation leads us", and that is as true in real life as it is on the screen.
30 October 2017
Call For Threats In West Belfast To Be Lifted Immediately
A shot has been fired at a house in west Belfast in a "case of mistaken identity". Sinn Fein MLA Paul Maskey confirmed a list is circulating in the area warning a number of people they would be targeted by dissidents. He said the threats are "about extorting cash from criminals and drug dealers" and called for them to be "lifted immediately".
26 September 2017
£400,000 Of Cannabis Seized In Co Tyrone
A man has been arrested after £400,000 worth of cannabis was found in Co Tyrone. Police carried out a search of a property in Coalisland on Monday, 25 September. The man is being detained on suspicion of drugs offences and is being questioned in Dungannon.