Call for ‘zero tolerance’ to public drinking in Tipperary town

Tipperary town bye-laws concerning public drinking were last updated in 2000

Call for ‘zero tolerance’  to public drinking in Tipperary town

Cllr Anne Marie Ryan Shiner

A proposal to adopt a zero policy ban on public drinking in certain areas of Tipperary town, was met with resistance from other councillors, at this month’s Tipperary Cashel municipal district meeting.

Cllr Anne Marie Ryan forwarded a motion: “that this municipal district review the existing bye-laws for the regulation and control of the consumption of intoxicating liquor in public spaces and arising from this review, the district adopt a zero tolerance policy to consuming intoxicating liquor in a public place and to non compliance when directed to leave immediately in an orderly manner.

“Furthermore, this municipal district collaborate closely with the gardaí, and members to proactively prohibit on-street drinking and begging in public places, which is causing distress to the public who have a right to peacefully enjoy their public spaces without feeling intimidated.”

Cllr Ryan said she had been examining the Tipperary town bye-laws, which were last updated in 2000, and cross referencing them against Clonmel’s, which were last updated in 2012.

The updated bye-laws in Clonmel give greater powers to gardaí, allowing them to confiscate bottles.
“The existing bye-laws in Tipperary don’t allow you to do that. I’m looking for much more robust bye-laws in relation to the consumption of alcohol in public places.”

Tipperary town “has a problem” - there are “hotspots” where people have to be “moved on”.
Cllr Ryan said people were getting intoxicated in public, begging, and asked that the Litter or Traffic Warden be authorised to move them on.

In a statement, Cllr Ryan added: "‘We are trying to regenerate our town centre, to develop and promote welcoming public spaces, therefore we need to create a town centre that is pleasant and safe, not one that tolerates unregulated drinking and anti-social behaviour.

"Clearly the existing bye-laws are not working so it is imperative that we find a solution to this issue as soon as possible. We will be meeting with the Gardai in October and I will be looking for full support from the Council, Councillors and the Gardai to develop an immediate solution to on street unregulated drinking and associated problems."

Cllr Michael Fitzgerald said he could not fully support the motion. Many of the individuals who might be the target of these bye-laws are “good individuals whose luck is down”. There are “worse things happening” in some estates in the town, with house parties. “There are worse things happening than the few hours when these people hang out on the Plaza.”

What can the gardaí do? “I'm not getting complaints from the public that they are being harassed in any way,” added Cllr Fitzgerald.

Cllr Roger Kennedy also said he opposed the motion. Some public drinking in Cashel had created a “holiday atmosphere” in newly pedestrianised areas, he said.

Management responded to Cllr Ryan: "‘Subject to the approval of the members, the Municipal District will review bye-laws for the regulation and control of the consumption of intoxicating liquor in public spaces and discuss the matter with An Garda Siochana as part of the agenda for the next Municipal District Community Safety Committee meeting.

"The existing Bye- Laws permit members of An Garda Siochana and authorised persons to enforce them. Tipperary County Council wardens operating within the district are authorised persons under the Bye-Laws and are dealing with persons contravening the Bye – Laws.

"The issue of begging in public places is not covered under the Bye-Laws for the Regulation and Control of the consumption of Intoxicating Liquor in public spaces and is therefore a matter for An Garda Siochana to be dealt with under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 2011"

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