by Alan Jacques
LIMERICK City and County Council has been asked to provide funding for the installation of strategically located CCTV cameras to prevent anti-social behaviour in rural areas where Garda stations have been closed or operate on reduced hours.
Speaking at this month’s Adare-Rathkeale municipal district meeting, Fianna Fáil councillor Richard O’Donoghue claimed that it is taking Gardaí up to 25 minutes to reach towns and villages in West Limerick when a crime is reported.
He insists that while the latest statistics show that crime is on the decrease nationally, it is on the rise locally.
“The Gardaí, like the county council, are under staffed and under funded and criminals are targeting areas where there is no Garda presence,” he said.
Independent councillor Emmett O’Brien supported Cllr O’Donoghue’s proposal, describing it as “sensible”.
He told council members how he had received a call from a “distressed gentleman” last weekend after his wife had a rock thrown at the windscreen of her car from the bridge at the Croom bypass.
“If these wanton thugs had killed this woman, they would have been charged with murder and probably convicted of manslaughter. This kind of anti-social behaviour has to be addressed and there is a clear problem since the closure of rural Garda stations,” he added.
Fine Gael councillor Stephen Keary also spoke in support Cllr O’Donoghue’s proposal.