Bomb threatened head shop closes.
A controversial Letterkenny head shop that was warned to cease trading and was targeted with a pipe bomb last week has finally closed its doors for good it would seem.
Yutopia Party shop that sold 'legal highs' temporarily reopened its doors last Monday morning after army bomb disposal experts defused a "viable device" from the front of the Pearse Road premises.
Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) claimed responsibility for planting the device warning the owner that this was his "first and only warning". The shop owner was unavailable for comment following the incident.
On Tuesday the store was marked with a "closed" sign while on Wednesday one reading "closed until further notice" was displayed.
On Thursday the shop's signage was removed and a 'To let' sign placed over the door.
The closure was welcomed by local anti drug activist PJ Blake who said he now called on the gardaí to establish a unit in the county to monitor head shops, similar to the one recently established in the capital.
He says links have been established between Dublin's 13 headshops to a rise in theft and violent crime, which is now being targeted by gardaí.
"I'd like to see here in the North West gardaí doing the same as a special unit operating in Dublin. They have ordered a crackdown. Chief Superintendent Pat Leaghy and Detective Superintendent Patrick Kennedy are involved in the first unit of its kind since the head shop controversy arose. The reason being there is a very serious rise in the amount of robberies and theft and a disturbing increase in the amount of violence. We have had bombings and a fire here, so why not have them or are we back to the old story: Why is Donegal the forgotten county?" he added.
Last Saturday up to 300 people took part in a protest march against a Yutopia head shop in Donegal Town.
The event organiser, Tom Conaghan of the Anti-Head Shops Committee hit out at the lack of support among parents groups, schools and community groups for their campaign.
"These legal highs have been associated with over 25 deaths in the UK and have left a trail of destruction and broken lives behind them. Today we marched behind the Ardaghey Band, will we be marching behind a hearse the next time? Will it take such a tragedy to get people out and stand up and be counted?" he stated.
06 April 2010 Eamonn McFadden