Launch of Operation Dualgas

Launch of Operation Dualgas Sligo Leitrim's Coastal Strategy

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The Sligo Leitrim Division of An Garda Síochána have today launched Operation Dualgas.

Operation Dualgas is a local coastal strategic plan, which has been prepared to deal with the policing challenges faced.

It has a specific focus aimed at protecting and securing the division’s coastline and waterways from criminal activity.

Operation Dualgas incorporates An Garda Síochána’s national Coastal Watch strategy, and aims to work with communities to facilitate the gathering of intelligence, relating to suspicious and criminal activity along the coastline, to analyse data received and act on same accordingly.

It has an aim of coordinating the response to all types of maritime crime including drug and human trafficking, property crime and all activity associated with organized crime.  An Garda Síochána recognize that we cannot do this alone and aim to substantially increase the sharing of knowledge with our communities and other agencies.

Sligo Leitrim Division has developed this interagency strategy over the past number of months and already Operation Dualgas has had significant success.

In the last month, with the assistance of the Garda Dog Unit, An Garda Síochána in Sligo Leitrim conducted a number of searches, including searches of islands on Lough Gill. These searches as part of Operation Dualgas have uncovered almost €250,000 of drugs in Sligo. One man is currently before the courts in respect of one of these seizures. 

While organised crime and drug detection is one focus of the strategy, Operation Dualgas goes further than this and also addresses theft and damage caused to boats and related property along the coast.

Central to the strategy is An Garda Síochána’s capacity building by collaboration and cooperation with key agencies and bodies as well as with the public. Operation Dualgas is about harnessing that information to bring about increased detections.

Speaking at the launch of Operation Dualgas, Chief Superintendent Aidan Glacken said,

"Operation Dualgas is a reinforcement of the assurance that all the relevant agencies including the community are working together by sharing information to collectively detect and prevent criminality on land, on islands, inland waterways or at sea  into the future. We know that if and when these amenities are being abused by criminals it can have a profound effect on people living locally, on livelihoods and this negative impact cause’s harm in families and communities. We want to ensure that the attractiveness of our coasts and waterways are protected and secured for our communities and for visitors to enjoy”.

Operation Dualgas will be rolled out through increased Garda patrols along our coastline and waterways and An Garda Síochána will continue to engage with local residents, businesses and the farming community.

Work has already begun and is supported through the Joint Policing Committees of both Sligo and Leitrim

In welcoming the launch of Operation Dualgas, the Minister of State for Public Health, Well Being and National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan TD said

"This is an excellent example of interagency cooperation working to address coastal crime and to protect our communities, both operationally and strategically.  The Government is keen that such mechanisms are utilised to the greatest extent possible under our approach to community safety and I would like to congratulate all of the stakeholder agencies on the commencement of this Operation.”

Andrew Ryan, Maritime Operations Manager in the Revenue Maritime Unit commented,

"Revenue works closely with An Garda Síochána in carrying out its role to deter and detect the smuggling of drugs, cigarettes and tobacco and other prohibitions and restrictions”.

Concluding, Chief Supt Glacken said,

"The success of this initiative will rely on the assistance of the communities we serve, whose valuable local knowledge is fundamental to any policing strategy. We encourage any member of the public who has information in relation to illegal activity of any kind to contact their local Community Gardai, any Garda Station or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111”.

Operation Dualgas involves collaboration and cooperation with the following key agencies.

  • Irish Naval Service
  • Revenue /Customs
  • The Irish Coastguard
  • Waterways Ireland
  • Inland Fisheries Ireland
  • Sligo County Council
  • Leitrim County Council
  • Irish Farmers Association