Coastal communities have been warned that local intelligence is critical if Ireland is to win the battle against drug-smuggling gangs.
Gardaí, Customs and Excise, and the Naval Service urged people suspicious of any activities at sea or along isolated stretches of coastline to immediately contact the authorities.
The plea came as the Cork West Garda Division staged a ‘Coastal Watch’ seminar in Kinsale.
Fittingly, the seminar took place in west Cork, where some of Ireland’s biggest drug seizures have been made, including the infamous €440m cocaine smuggling bid at Dunlough Bay in July 2007.
That operation was foiled when a gang member put diesel in a petrol outboard engine, with a rigid inflatable boat subsequently capsizing.
Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan said co-operation was now seamless between Irish agencies including the Garda, Naval Service, Customs and Excise, and Irish Coast Guard – but vitally depended on local intelligence from coastal communities.