Af­ter be­ing vi­ciously at­tacked while work­ing at his Wex­ford Road shop, a fed-up Ark­low trader says...

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - FRONT PAGE -

A PROM­I­NENT Ark­low trader who was as­saulted out­side his premises has re­newed his calls for im­proved light­ing and CCTV in the area. Colm Ka­vanagh of Ka­vanagh’s Shop on the Wex­ford Road was hit on the back of the head twice by a masked man as he pre­pared to close up on Sun­day night. He voiced con­cerns that some­one could get se­ri­ously hurt if ac­tion is not taken.

A PROM­I­NENT Ark­low trader who has cam­paigned for im­proved street light­ing and CCTV near his premises for over three years has re­it­er­ated his calls af­ter he was at­tacked out­side his shop on Sun­day night.

Colm Ka­vanagh of Ka­vanagh’s Shop on the Wex­ford Road was bring­ing in fire­wood from the lane-way be­side his premises to re­plen­ish stock be­fore he closed up for the night at 10 p.m. when he was at­tacked by a masked man who hit him at the back of the head.

‘I was bring­ing in some hard­wood blocks at around 9.30 p.m. when a guy came up and clocked me to the back of the head with full force. He hit me again and I stum­bled over the blocks and fell to the ground. He went to kick me but I man­aged to get up and shoved him off and he ran off to­wards the town cen­tre,’ Mr Ka­vanagh ex­plained. The man was of av­er­age build and dressed in a dark-coloured hooded top and track­suit bot­toms.

The hood was up and ac­cord­ing to Mr Ka­vanagh, he was wear­ing ei­ther a bal­a­clava or mask to cover his face. Ac­cord­ing to Mr Ka­vanagh, the street light­ing in the area is not suf­fi­cient, and while those who pass the area up to 9.30 p.m. might think it is, sim­ply be­cause the Lidl store light­ing helps to brighten the en­tire area.

‘When Lidl closes, the area is pitch black. The coun­cil re­moved light­ing from our side of the street and the LED lights across the road are not bright enough. I have ex­hausted my ef­forts to ap­peal to Wick­low County Coun­cil and Trans­port In­fra­struc­ture Ire­land to im­prove the mat­ter but the fact is that I’m ter­ri­fied that some­one will get killed,’ Mr Ka­vanagh said.

He raised con­cerns about the poorly lit area in road safety terms for both pedes­tri­ans and mo­torists, and said that un­for­tu­nately, many peo­ple liv­ing in the area are afraid to leave their homes af­ter dark.

‘I’ve said it a mil­lion times but the Wex­ford Road is the main ar­te­rial route to the town’s com­mer­cial core and the town cen­tre CCTV scheme should be ex­tended here. What will it take be­fore some ac­tion is taken?’ he said.

Mr Ka­vanagh also high­lighted that the at­tack he ex­pe­ri­enced comes just weeks af­ter a lo­cal res­i­dent’s car win­dow was smashed while it was parked out­side their home. He has re­ported the as­sault to the Gar­daí and also high­lighted once again his con­cerns for pub­lic safety in the area.

‘I’ ll ask again, hope­fully for the last time – and not an ex­er­cise in fu­til­ity – why has lo­cal coun­cil man­age­ment, and all par­ties who work along­side, opted to lo­cate not one soli­tary CCTV cam­era any­where upon the Wex­ford Road when the new sys­tem is fi­nally in­tro­duced?’ he said.

Ark­low busi­ness­man Colm Ka­vanagh.

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