Locals in Garrison, Co. Fermanagh, have expressed their great surprise at the large quantity of cannabis seized there at the weekend.
The latest move by the PSNI follows the seizure of 24 cannabis plants in Belcoo last Monday and of 800 cannabis plants in Coa at the end of March.
Mayor of Bundoran, Cllr Michael McMahon said the cannabis would have used to supply the local market in the area, including much of south Donegal and north Leitrim.
“I welcome the seizure of drugs on any side of the border. While Garrison would not be traditionally an area you would not associate with drugs, but drugs are spreading to every crossroads and village in the country and the people in authority will have to remain very vigilant,” he told the paper.
Local Northern MLA Phil Flanagan said the community was stunned by the seizure, estimated at £130,000 sterling.
The Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA said: “The local community is stunned by the seemingly ever increasing number and value of drug seizures in Co Fermanagh. I warmly welcome the seizing of these cannabis plants in Garrison; it is clear from both the quantity seized, and the reported quality of cannabis in question, that this was the work of a sophisticated and well-organised operation.
“This seizure has greatly disrupted one single operation, but it is merely a drop in the ocean when compared with the problem as a whole in Fermanagh and that is evidenced by the recent seizures in Belcoo and Coa. The social effects that these drugs can cause to communities is well known with addictions leading to higher levels of crime and higher levels of social care and rehabilitation needed for users. Combining the ongoing work of the PSNI in removing these drugs supply routes along with education programmes for our young people is the key to eradicating drug misuse.
Police say they uncovered the suspected cannabis factory following a search of a property in the Brollagh Road area of Garrison on Saturday afternoon
They have appealed to anyone with information on illegal drugs, cannabis factories or anyone that is selling drugs to contact them on 0044 845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers on 0044 800 555 111.