THE Knockmay Neighbourhood Watch Scheme was officially launched last Thursday, November 22, in Treo Nua Resource Centre, Harpur’s Lane, Portlaoise.
Chairman, John Delaney told the Leinster Express that there is a real need for such a scheme, due to the high level of unemployment in the area.
“There are over 400 houses in the catchment area and there’s a bit of vandalism and a bit of other stuff going on,” he said.
Apart from John, the committee comprises Mary Burns as secretary, with members Dessie Bland, Tracy Houlihan, Kakka Kripps, Ester O’Shea and Majeed Osalum. Some 25 local people attended the launch, which featured speeches from Brian Stanley TD and crime prevention officer, Padraig Farrelly. Also present were community policing members, Garda John Masterson and Garda Justine O’Reilly, with Garda Superintendent Yvonne Lundon officially launching the scheme. John said that the gardaí were highly impressed with the turnout for the meeting and with the work being done by the group. It is now planned to hold a monthly garda clinic in the centre, where people can come in and have a chat with the garda in private.
“There’s a good community policing presence, the gardai come in and drive around, but there’s a need to get more householders on board,” John said.
John is also chairman of Treo Nua, which has done a lot for the local community. The committee organised a disco in the centre on Halloween and John revealed that there was far less of a need for garda presence in Knockmay on that night, as all the local parents were present in the hall with the children.
Future projects in Treo Nua include a Christmas disco for the kids with Santa popping in, and it is also envisaged to one day turn the field behind the centre into a play area.
The chairman has confirmed that the Neighbourhood Watch group will be meeting once or twice a fortnight “to keep things going”. For now, he encourages anyone who wishes to be involved in the scheme to contact him on 087 2386158, or call into Treo Nua.