Councillor wants army to drive State officials
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.