Drugs found in Derry tunnel

Independent Derry Strabane Councillor Dee Quigley pictured with the drugs uncovered in the tunnel.
Independent Derry Strabane Councillor Dee Quigley pictured with the drugs uncovered in the tunnel.

A Derry Councillor has called for urgent measures to tackle anti-social behaviour centred at a tunnel in Shantallow after a stash of drugs were find there.

Councillor Dee Quigley said that there needed to be “creative action” to tackle the problem in Derry.

The drugs found inside the tunnel.

The drugs found inside the tunnel.

Mr Quigley said he came across the bag of drugs, believed to be the legal high ‘Monkey Madness’ while in the area.

Other drug paraphernalia was also found at the scene.

The tunnel at Shantallow was one of several erected during the construction of the Shantallow and Galliagh estates several decades ago to provide walkways which underpass the main road network in the area.

Several remain in place across the estates and other parts of Derry, while others have been filled in over the years following concerns that they were acting as a magnet for criminal activity and anti-social behaviour.

Speaking about the drug discovery, Mr Quigley said: “I visited the underpass at the bottom of Madams Bank Road today. It’s safe to say it’s not a pretty sight. I found what looked like a ‘bag of monkey’ and other drug-related items a bong and small bags used for keeping weed in.

“This is not the type of community we want to live in.”

Mr Quigley has now called on all relevant parties and stakeholders to give a commitment to wards tackling the problem.

He said: “I’m also calling for them to support me in turning these dirty dark places into community assets.

“I think that if we had the ability to ‘shut’ the tunnels but make them usable for the young people at the same time could only help the situation.

“There are examples around the world were underpasses have been turned in youth venues, community gyms and even art galleries.

“We need everyone behind this type of thinking moving forward. I really think projects like this can help change the fabric of our community.”