RESIDENTS in Ballinakill are hoping that a Garda will be assigned to their area in light of the Garda station’s closure in the village at the end of January.
Speaking to the Leinster Express, Ballinakill Community Alert secretary Anne Drury said that she is hoping somebody will be assigned to the area, as there was in nearby Ballacolla last week.
“We are hoping that the chief superintendent will come out and meet us and answer any questions that people may have. We are also hoping that he will appoint a Garda to the area. Him coming out to a meeting to speak will ease a lot of peoples’ minds”.
Currently Ballinakill Community Alert are in the process of setting up their text alert scheme which will notify residents of suspicious activity in the area. This scheme has been very successful since it has been set up in other areas and residents are eager for it to get up and running.
The group recently received a grant from Laois Community Forum which will go toward helping to set up the text service.
“People will feel so much safer when this is in action. There are a lot of remote areas around Ballinakill, as there are with any village, and there are a lot of one off houses”, said Anne.
The group has been active in Ballinakill and the surrounding areas since 1986, and is constantly working with people in the locality and with doctors in both Abbeyleix and Durrow to ensure that older people are supplied with personal alarms.
Over the past number of years, Ballinakill Community Alert has helped out over 65 older people living alone in the area by installing personal monitored alarms, outdoor lighting, window and door locks, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and emergency indoor lights.
They have done this with the help of a government grant and while it has been reduced in recent years grants are still available for people to receive personal alarms. Anne said that in the last two weeks alone she has reprogrammed alarm pendants for people and is waiting on more to come. As well as Ballinakill, people from as far as Ballyroan, Timahoe and Cullahill have benefitted from the service. Those who would like to fin out more about getting a personal alarm can contact Anne at 087 1263933.