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Drug Prevention – Operation Tara

Detective Chief Superintendent Seamus Boland was in studio to offer advice to the public in relation to Operation Tara which was launched by An Garda Síochána on 2 July 2021. Operation Tara is aimed at tackling the threat posed by drug dealing and drug related intimidation and violence. 

Operation Tara isfocused around four strands, namely:

  • Crime Prevention and Protecting Communities;
  • Crime Investigation and Operational Activity;
  • Working in Partnership and
  • Education & Awareness. 

The operation places disrupting, dismantling and prosecuting drug trafficking networks as a priority and to discourage young people from becoming involved in drug related criminality.

Operation Tara is taking place in partnership with the community, with local Gardaí interacting with them for the purpose of assisting in preventing the occurrence of drug related criminality; reassuring them of the availability of the Garda Síochána to provide assistance as required. 

The Garda National Community Engagement Bureau (GNCEB) is co-ordinating activity under the Garda Schools programme and Campus Watch programme, to increase awareness and education regarding these matters and to assist in crime prevention relevant to Operation Tara. The focus is to discourage young people from involvement in drug consumption or drug trafficking. 


The Garda Síochána recognise the devastating impact of drug related intimidation on the wider family and communities.  Dedicated Drug Units have now been established in every Division across the country, and they are proactively targeting drug dealers. 

We also have the Drug Related Intimidation Programme where a Garda Inspector is assigned responsibility for tackling drug related intimidation (DRI) in every Division and is a point of contact for persons wishing to confidentially report drug related threats.  

We are not judgmental on this issue and we encourage people to come forward in confidence, as our priority and focus is on the drug trafficking and violent gangs. 

The Drug Related Intimidation Inspector will-

  • Advise, guide and support persons or families subject to intimidation and assist the person or family on deciding on an appropriate course of action to take.
  • Ensure matters are investigated thoroughly if that is what the victim’s wishes.
  • Ensure that persons identified as engaging in drug related intimidation become the focus of targeted Garda operations, which generally results in them being arrested and prosecuted for other offences such as drug dealing, money laundering, assaults and often having assets confiscated as proceeds of crime. 

Finally, Detective Chief Superintendent Boland emphasised that An Garda Síochána can’t tackle the drug problem alone and while we already engage in partnership with other relevant agencies, such as government departments and community groups, our greatest partnership is with the public we serve.

Don’t assume that the Gardaí know who is drug dealing or engaging in drug related intimidation in your community because it’s very possible we don’t.

We all need to work in partnership and if we know who is engaging in drug dealing and associated threatening and violent behaviour, then those people will become our targets. 

Operation Tara is currently active in your area so please help us to make our communities safer for everybody.