WATCH: 'Vigorous' and 'targeted' drug searches at Electric Picnic, says organiser

Strong words here

Carlow Live Reporter

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Festival goers can expect "vigorous" and "targeted" drug searches at Electric Picnic this weekend according to the CEO of Festival Republic which runs the Laois festival. 

Melvin Benn said that Electric Picnic said that people will make their own choices but urged people not to take drugs. 

"We work really closely with the gardaí about it, of course, we have put it on all our ads that we have got a zero-tolerance to it, the searching will be vigorous and we will do targeted searching where we think it is appropriate but ultimately it is about people making their own choices.

"Illegal drugs are illegal for specific reasons and that is principally because they are dangerous, what’s in the drugs people don’t know and we urge people not to take drugs and that is what the Electric Picnic’s position is and we hope they don’t.

"The deaths that have happened in the UK at a couple of festivals appear to be where people have mixed drugs and excessive alcohol and more than one drug and excessive alcohol but ultimately drugs are unsafe and we ask people to respect the fact that they are unsafe and not to take them," he said. 

Meanwhile, gardaí in Laois have issued a stark warning to Electric Picnic attendees about the use of illegal drugs at the festival.

An Garda Síochána have warned festival-goers attending Electric Picnic that there will be a high-visibility police operation at the event, targeting the use and supply of illegal drugs. 

"We will be there to uphold the law.

"Those who bring illegal drugs into the festival can expect to be caught and dealt with accordingly.

“Prohibited drugs are illegal and potentially life-threatening, especially when combined with alcohol, so we urge everyone to behave responsibly.

"We will be there to uphold the law and ensure the safety of all festival-goers.

"If you are attending any events or music festivals remember the following. Many illicit drug users may think that the only bad thing about doing drugs is that they are illegal.

"The truth is there are negative health effects associated with every illegal drug out there and some of them can be fatal.

"Don’t consume illegal drugs. Your need for a high can leave a family devastated," gardaí said.

Electric Picnic takes place less than one month after Jack Downey, from Clonmel in Co Tipperary, died after ingesting a substance at a music festival in Cork.

His heartbroken parents Johnny and Elaine Downey have appeared on numerous national media platforms appealing to parents to talk to their children about drugs.

Gardaí have referred the public to advice on drugs.ie.