Cllr Kieran Bourke
A councillor has highlighted how residents in a Carrick-on-Suir town centre neighbourhood continue to live under a cloud of anti-social behaviour on the streets outside their homes two years after they submitted a petition to the gardaí seeking their help with the problem.
Carrick-on-Suir’s Cllr Kieran Bourke says the problem of large numbers of young people hanging around Kickham Street and lanes off it and intimidating local residents increased during the Covid-19 pandemic because of the absence of social activities.
The Carrick-on-Suir local representative has appealed to the parents of these young people to “step up to the mark” and stop them lingering around Kickham Street and The Racks lane.
And he has called on the gardaí to increase their patrols of the area.
“This is going on a while. It was going on well before the pandemic but it has got worse since the pandemic.
“The residents down there are living a nightmare,” he told The Nationalist.
Cllr Bourke assisted a group of residents in Kickham Street and surrounding areas with collecting a petition in 2019, which was submitted to Clonmel Garda District Superintendent, William Leahy.
The councillor claimed that unfortunately the residents’ petition seems to have “fallen on deaf ears”.
The Fianna Fáil councillor complained that garda manpower resources in Carrick-on-Suir town were still insufficient two years on.
He said gardaí should regularly patrol the Kickham Street area to ensure there aren’t young people hanging around, causing problems for residents and Carrick-on-Suir Garda Station should be a opened seven days a week, 24-hours a day station.
A town the size of Carrick-on-Suir required such a Garda Station, he said.
Supt William Leahy strongly disputed Cllr Bourke’s comments.
He said the councillor didn’t need to call for more garda patrols of the Kickham Street area because it was already happening.
He insisted gardaí have increased patrols in that neighbourhood for a number of months. “We are carrying them out randomly at different hours of the day and night.”
Supt Leahy said gardaí have made a number of arrests in relation to anti-social behaviour in that area.
These people received fixed penalty notice fines.
He pointed out that some of the anti-social behaviour happening in the Kickham Street area wasn’t at the level of criminal offending.
It was the likes of youths playing hurling against gable walls.
Supt Leahy acknowledged that while this activity wasn’t an offence it can be extremely annoying and aggravating for residents and he accepted that “low level” anti-social behaviour can become more serious if it’s not addressed.
He disagreed with Cllr Bourke about the level of garda presence in Carrick-on-Suir.
While Carrick-on-Suir Garda Station wasn’t open 24-hours a day, there is a 24-hour garda presence in Carrick-on-Suir town.
He argued it was better to have gardaí out on patrol around the town than in a garda station.
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