Originally published in Volume III, Issue 10 on 9th April by Observer Reporters.
No charges are to be brought against SU Ents Officer following his recent arrest during a raid by Gardai in the Bar. The raid, which occured on the final night last term, culminated in several arrests. Mr. Purcell was handcuffed and brought to Donnybrook Garda station, where he was later released without charge. Several searches were also carried out on the night after an operation which was believed to have been planned up to a month in advance.
According to Garda sources the Bar had been under observation by the Drug Squad since mid-February. On the night itself, a dance event with a bar extension, several undercover officers are believed to have present, although this is not unusual as many of the longer events in the past have seen undercover activity. However, what marked this operation out from this past was that the Gardai were expecting to make seizures and arrests.
Two people were arrested outside the Bar for possession of Ecstasy tablets, and after questioning these suspects, a raid was carried out which led to the arrest of Mr. Purcell. However, according to Garda sources the arrest was carried out despite having no evidence of any wrongdoing. It is believed that after a month of planning there was disappointment at the lack of success, and that they felt it necessary to give the impression of having achieved a result while simultaneously sending a message to any prospective drug dealers in the Bar.
Despite a fall off in dealing in the Bar, the Gardai still view the college as an obvious target for such operations. The last raid occurred in 1987 when several people were arrested and seizures made. A file is being compiled after last months raid, and the Drug Squad are believed to be keeping a continuous watch on student drug activities in UCD.
Mr. Purcell has denied that he has any involvement in drug dealing, and claims that the arrest was “ridiculous”. “I have no idea why they went for me. I’m an innocent man, I’m walking out the front door”, he said.