Additional resources will be allocated to Cork city’s Garda drugs unit in the coming weeks, to help tackle cocaine dealers.
The existing unit will be “beefed up” but details are not being released at present on the resources that will be allocated to it.
The move is being made amid concern at the strong return of cocaine use since the end of the recession.
The extra personnel will also be involved in the fight against heroin, which continues to be prevalent in the city.
Superintendent Michael Comyns, who heads up the investigation of serious crime in Cork city, said: “To combat cocaine especially, An Garda Síochána in Cork City is bringing in more resources to the divisional drugs unit in the next couple of weeks.
“We will be targeting the cocaine market.”
There have been several high-profile incidents in Cork in the past year involving cocaine. Gardaí and drugs counsellors say that the drug, which last saw comparable levels of popularity among users during the Celtic Tiger era, is now available in every village, town, and city, as well as in rural areas.
People presenting for treatment come from a wide range of backgrounds and are no longer predominantly from young professional sectors of society, as may have been the case previously.
In June, two men were arrested in Cork city in connection with an incident in which cocaine was used on board a train from Dublin.
In recent months, there has also been a number of cocaine seizures in Cork, including an estimated €11,000 of the drug found during a planned search of a house in The Glen on October 10.
In September, The Echo revealed that crack cocaine is also an issue in Cork, with users of the lethal drug turning to treatment centres for help in tackling addiction to it.
In recent weeks, the cocaine trade in West Cork has been under the spotlight of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).
The CAB seized six cars, a Rolex watch, and two Louis Vuitton handbags, as well as quantities of cocaine and cannabis, during searches made across the West Cork area.
In addition, during recent months, several cases have come before the courts in Cork city and county for cocaine dealing.