While the number of gardai assigned to the traffic corps in the Mayo garda division has doubled over the last three years, the number of gardai assigned to the drugs unit over the same period has remained the same, according to Mayo Fianna Fail deputy Dara Calleary.

He raised his concerns at the county Joint Policing Committee in Breaffy House Hotel on Friday evening last.

Deputy Calleary argued that the number of gardai assigned to the drugs unit in Mayo remains static while the problem of drug abuse and the illegal sale of drugs in the county is on the rise.

In 2017 the traffic corps in the county went from 11 to 24 in number, while the drug unit continues to have 5 gardai assigned to it.

Garda Chief Supt Pat Diskin, in response, told the deputy that the increase in the traffic corps numbers over the past three years has coincided with significant reductions in road deaths in the county.

In 2017 – 13 people died on Mayo roads, that was reduced to 9 in 2018, and to date this year it stands at 3.

In addition, he explained that every garda in the county is involved in combating illegal substance abuse and sales – it's not solely the duty of the drugs unit.

 Nonetheless, Deputy Calleary insisted the drugs unit, with its expertise, needs to be increased.

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