“Huge scale” drug factory uncovered

Eamonn McFadden


Eamonn McFadden

Gardai in North Donegal say the cannabis production facility discovered near Malin town yesterday was a “huge scale operation”.

Gardai in North Donegal say the cannabis production facility discovered near Malin town yesterday was a “huge scale operation”.

Inishowen Gardai say they made the discovery yesterday morning at approximately 10am when officers carried out a search of a warehouse 3km from Malin town as part of a “planned operation”.

A well-placed source said the find is estimated to be valued in the region of half a million euro, but a spokesperson for Buncrana Gardai said the full extent the discovery will not be known until today due to the size of the operation.

It is understood this significant raid comes from an ongoing garda operation into suspected drug production in the region.

Two non-national residents have been arrested in connection with the find.

The pair were arrested at the scene and were taken to Buncrana station for questioning.

Garda Superintendent Kevin English said the discovery included cannabis seeds, young plants and some of the drug already harvested ready for the market. Sophisticated growing equipment was also discovered at the drug factory.

The investigation is on-going and gardai sealed the area off around the warehouse for forensic examination.

This is the second significant find made by local gardai in the area in recent times. In may 2011 they discovered a cannabis production house in the Buncrana area and three non-nationals were arrested.

This follows high profile successes by Donegal gardai in uncovering a number of cannabis production facilities in the county, including large scale finds in Carrigans and in Bundoran.

Donegal North East TD, Deputy Padraig MacLochalinn says the gardai must be congratulated on the operation to discover the drugs plant and has asked people to co-operate with the authorities if they have suspicions on illegal activity.

He said this will reassure the people of the area that despite cut backs in resources, gardai are still working effectively when they receive public co-operation. “I must congratulate the gardai. There have obviously been concerns around cuts in resources and personnel in recent times, but this will be a significant morale boost. This will be a move to reassure people as there is a huge challenge in Inishowen at the minute with a range of burglaries across the peninsula, so this will be a boost. I would also ask members of the public to be vigilant, particularly about vacant houses or properties,” he said.