‘LACK OF LIGHTING PUTTING PEOPLE IN DANGER’
After being viciously attacked while working at his Wexford Road shop, a fed-up Arklow trader says...
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.