“THAT situation cannot be allowed to continue,” insisted Chairman Cllr Pat Bowe at Mountmellick Town Council monthly meeting last Thursday evening. He was referring to late night/early morning rowdy behaviour in O’Connell Square.
He declared, “People should be able to walk on it (Square). People should be able to live in it.”
In a letter to Councillors, O’Connell Square residents and business people warned that they might form a vigilante group if the authorities failed to combat the problem.
“I would like to see the strongest action taken,” remarked Cllr Marc Connolly.
Cllr Bowe said that a request to meet the new Superintendent ‘has so far fallen on deaf ears’.
Cllr Michael Gormley commented, “I think it’s wrong that she (Supt) did not see fit to meet the Town Council. I am very annoyed over it.”
Cllr Denis O’Mara said the youths ‘took off’ in The Square at 6.30pm and continued until 2.30 the following morning.
He went on, “They can play soccer in the early morning hours, hopping balls off cars. People are living with intimidation, and not just in The Square. That’s happening at 6.30 in the evening. We have a Sergeant and five Gardai. How come nothing is being done about it? Nobody is being apprehended.”
Cllr O’Mara continued, “Even people who go up to complain to the barracks find it closed, and there’s not even a sign to see when it will be open. I am not running the Gardai down. It’s the bigger stripes who are allocating them somewhere else. If you went door to door, how many people would be able to name the Sergeant and Gardai? At one time, everyone knew them personally.”
Adopted was Cllr Bobby Delaney’s proposal, seconded by Cllr O’Mara, that they should seek to have a meeting with the Superintendent prior to the impending Mountmellick Joint Policing Committee meeting.
Cllr Bowe pointed out, “The Manager assures me that he will be in contact with the Superintendent.”
Cllr Stephen Lynch said he had great respect for the Gardai. “They are trying to do their best for the town. The Station is not open a lot of the time.”
Cllr Bowe concluded, “Maybe we should afford the Gardai an opportunity to respond.”