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07 Jul 2022

Barrister says threat against those involved in the drugs trade is 'higher' following recent deaths in Derry

Another defendant granted anonymity at local court

Derry courthouse

Derry courthouse at Bishop Street.

A barrister today said that the threat against those involved in the drugs trade in Derry has increased following a number of recent deaths in the city.

Both police and an addiction support counsellor have linked the deaths to a 'bad batch' of drugs circulating in the city.

Derry City and Strabane District Council agreed at its monthly meeting last week to seek an 'urgent' meeting with the Northern Ireland Executive to discuss the ongoing drugs problem in the local area.

In recent years, a large number of alleged drug dealers have been granted anonymity when they appear at the local magistrates court.

Their legal teams argue that there is an increased threat against those involved in drug-dealing in Derry from dissident republicans.

They highlight the number of 'punishment-type' shootings which have occurred in the city in recent years.

Another man facing drug supply charges was granted anonymity at the local court today.

He is charged with intent to supply cocaine, cannabis, Pregabalin and Diazepam last year.

Applying for his client's name and address not to be made public, defence barrister, Eoghan Devlin, highlighted the recent suspected drug-related deaths in the city.

“There have been a number of people involved in the drugs trade who have received threats so the threat level is probably higher than it has been in a long time,” said Mr Devlin.

District Judge Barney McElholm agreed to the application for anonymity.

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