Scoring cocaine online easier than ordering takeaway in Ireland with dealers in EVERY county offering narcotics
AN Irish Sun investigation has found ordering cocaine on the internet is easier than buying a pint or takeaway.
And within an hour of setting up a new social media account this week, we were offered narcotics by at least one dealer in every city in the country.
Simply by searching “cocaine Dublin” we were inundated with thousands of options for how to buy the drug.
It was only after there were almost 14,000 posts on the topic that Instagram finally took action and blocked #cocainedublin on their site.
The Irish Sun started the investigation in response to reports that children as young as 16 are presenting to doctors with addiction symptoms.
With over 70,000 people charged with possession in five years, some politicians believe it is time to talk about decriminalisation — at least that way control of the industry will be taken out of the hands of black market criminals and gangs.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, if you head online and knock in a few keywords, I’m sure you can get any drug you want in the post or delivered or whatever.
“And whether you’re in the pub, nightclub or even out on the street, if you open your eyes and look around you’ll see drug dealing.
“With the internet and social media, drugs are easier to get hold of than a pint.”
To test how easy it is, The Irish Sun set up brand new Instagram and Snapchat accounts.
Simply by searching for “cocaine Dublin” on Instagram, this reporter found thousands of posts and accounts openly advertising the sale of illegal drugs.
Amazingly more than 50 accounts had Dublin and cocaine written in their usernames. And while Instagram did flag up that my search “may be associated with the sale of drugs”, I was free to explore the results.
Most accounts didn’t showcase their product but contact details were openly shared, with new posts going live through the day.
Just minutes after keying my search on Instagram, I had made direct contact with a dealer in Dublin who told me exactly what was on offer and gave an option for delivery.
Within one hour I had made contact with at least one drug dealer in every city in the Republic.
When I sent out a message on Snapchat, dealers were even more forthcoming and often reached out to me first.
Exchanging messages with the dealers, I was given lists, or menus, of the drugs they could supply.
And while cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana were the most widely available, I was also offered ketamine, xanax and mushrooms.
Cocaine prices ranged from €80 to €100 per gram, while ecstasy ranged from €8 to €15 a pill.
None of the dealers asked my age or how I’d found their username, and were all more than willing to offer delivery.
One dealer in Limerick could have an order at my door in half an hour, faster than the average takeaway — while a Waterford contact was able to offer same day nationwide delivery, including to Northern Ireland.
One account was more than happy to advertise their product, sending me a short video, unprompted, of mounds of cocaine on a kitchen table.
Instagram say their review teams have looked into this and have blocked the hashtag cocainedublin.
A spokesperson said: “Buying and selling drugs is strictly against our rules and we don’t want it on Instagram. We use a mix of technology and human review to remove this content as quickly as possible.
“We removed 2.5 million pieces of drug sales content from Instagram between July and September 2022, over 97 per cent of which we found proactively.
“We work closely with law enforcement and youth organisations to help us understand the issues and keep drug sales off Instagram.”
Snapchat added: “Using Snapchat to buy or sell drugs is illegal and strictly against our rules. When we become aware of any drug-dealing activity — either through our proactive technology, or from in-app reporting, we remove it and take appropriate action, including working with the police to support investigations.
“We also make it more difficult to search for terms associated with drug dealing and if people try, we show them information from drug education charities.”
Deputy Kenny said: “I don’t think we can talk about decriminalisation without talking about the possibility of legalisation and regulation.
“We need to start talking about the elephant in the room, and that is that even if we decriminalise the possession of drugs, the industry is still being controlled by black market criminal gangs. They control price, supply and distribution. Why is this still allowed to happen?
“While total legalisation and regulation aren’t perfect by any means, I think it would take control back from black markets and criminal gangs that have enriched themselves on the backs of other people’s pain.”
Recovering addict Martin Gavin, who was 38 when he first sought help for cocaine, alcohol and Valium addiction, told The Irish Sun: “What started off so innocently ended up in carnage for me personally, and you don’t even see it coming.
“For me it began with experimenting when I was out on the pints like most people. Alcohol was the gateway, but I moved on then to ecstasy and amphetamines fairly quickly — and then to cocaine.
“Over a period of time of regular usage I progressed onto addiction and I became dependent on it, regardless of any consequences with my family or my job.”
Five years on, Martin is helping others at Cuan Mhuire in Galway, and he says the situation now is even worse than when he was an addict.
He said: “Even when I was a young lad it was so normal, and that’s even more so the case now.
“It’s normal to take cocaine at the weekends and it’s openly used in pubs and nightclubs.