Coun­cil­lor wants army to drive State of­fi­cials

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Christy Parker

The army should re­place gar­daí as driv­ers for top State of­fi­cials and re­tired gov­ern­ment min­is­ters, the coun­try’s long­est-serv­ing county coun­cil­lor has said.

East Cork’s Cllr Noel Collins also ad­vo­cates army per­son­nel should be tasked with “pa­trolling ru­ral ar­eas and vis­it­ing old folks in re­mote parts of the coun­try”. He made his ob­ser­va­tions at a pub­lic meet­ing on crime preven­tion or­gan­ised by Kil­leagh/Inch com­mu­nity coun­cil.

He said there were “far too few gar­daí sta­tioned around the coun­try” with many ru­ral sta­tions closed and a com­mu­nity polic­ing scheme that “hasn’t worked”. Cur­rently, he noted there were “56 gar­daí em­ployed as driv­ers” who, if re­placed in their roles, could be bet­ter de­ployed in foot pa­trols across cities, towns or vil­lages or in com­bat­ting “the more tech­ni­cal acts of crim­i­nal­ity”.

He also ob­served: “Our army is sent to de­fend other na­tions, but it should now be brought in to de­fend its own coun­try against thug­gery and mur­der.”

Mean­while, the meet­ing called on Cork County Coun­cil to erect higher fenc­ing around Kil­leagh play­ground fol­low­ing per­sis­tent van­dal­ism. The play­ground sits snugly in se­cluded sur­round­ings at the en­trance to Glen­bower woods which makes it an easy tar­get for de­struc­tive be­hav­iour.

In the lat­est in­ci­dent, a fire scorched swings and a climb­ing frame.

One an­gry par­ent has de­scribed the de­struc­tion as “ef­fec­tively an at­tack on chil­dren’s right to play”. The com­mu­nity coun­cil cre­ated the play­ground and it is man­aged by Cork County Coun­cil which is un­der­stood to be will­ing to erect higher fenc­ing.

It is sug­gested the fa­cil­ity would be locked at cer­tain times.

Garda Dave Leahy, at the meet­ing, out­lined ad­vice on crime preven­tion mea­sures such as aware­ness and re­port­ing of sus­pi­cious ve­hi­cles, se­cur­ing premises, record­ing make, model and se­rial num­bers of tools and seek­ing ID from un­known call­ers.

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