Laois council seeks advice on getting barring orders against people who have threatened staff

Gardaí called to a meeting between staff and members of the public after threatening behaviour

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Laois County Council HQ Portlaoise

Gardaí had to be called to Laois County Council's HQ in recent weeks after staff became fearful for their safety when dealing with members of the public.

As a result of this and a number of other incidents the council's chief executive has sought legal advice to find out if members of the public can be barred from county hall in Portlaoise if they are abusive towards officials or if there is a threat of violence.

Councillors were told at their monthly meeting with senior management  today that the gardaí had to be called to sit in on a meeting between staff and a member of the public in recent weeks.

A man and his four children were also present in the council's office today, Monday, March 27 over a housing issue. A disturbance has also occurred but staff did meet the man.

On the back of the incidents, Mr John Mulholland told councillors that legal advice had been sought over the possibility of obtaining barring orders against people who have had a record of threatening behaviour when dealing with staff.

The council is also working on a plan to build a designated public office where staff can meet people in a secure setting.