GARDA CLAMPDOWN SOUGHT ON ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR OUTBREAK IN MONAGHAN TOWN

19 February 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Calls were made at Monday’s meeting of the Monaghan Municipal District for a forceful Garda clampdown on persistent outbreaks of anti-social behaviour that, councillors claimed, had become a regular weekend occurrence in the centre of Monaghan Town, particularly the Dublin Street area, in recent weeks.

Representations from the business community in Dublin Street for local authority action to be taken, including the night-time closure of a number of public walkways connecting the thoroughfare with the town centre car-parks, were brought to the meeting’s attention by Independent representative Seamus Treanor, who claimed that drug-dealing was taking place in these locations and that some members of the public traversing Dublin Street were now carrying implements such as batons and screwdrivers for their own protection.

It was agreed to invite representatives of the Gardaí to the March Municipal District meeting to discuss the issue.

The MD put time aside at the conclusion of Monday’s meeting to discuss public concerns over recent anti-social behaviour incidents in the town.

The debate began with Fine Gael’s David Maxwell stating that anti-social behaviour had become a regular occurrence on Friday and Saturday nights in Monaghan since Christmas. He said it was very sad that this had come about in the town.

“There is fear out there,” he declared. “People are scared to walk the streets.”

Colr Maxwell said he was told that a knife was pulled on a foreign student outside a takeaway in Dublin Street last weekend and money demanded from them. Foreign students were now being targeted.

Everyone had seen the criminal damage recently caused in Glaslough Street, where a barrier to the car-park at the Masonic Hall had been broken on two occasions. A woman had also been attacked in Dublin Street for no apparent reason.

There were numerous incidents of people running amok around the town and there seemed to be no Gardaí to deal with the matter. Referring to a statement made by the Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District, Colr Robbie Gallagher, at Monaghan Co Council’s November meeting, that there might only be two Gardaí on mobile patrol in the North Monaghan area from Monday to Friday, Colr Maxwell said that the Co Council had received no response back from the Gardaí to their representations on this matter.

He noted that the former Monaghan Town Council used to meet with the Gardaí once or twice a year to discuss policing matters, and proposed that the Municipal District invite the Gardaí to meet them at their next meeting to explain what the policing situation was in Monaghan Town at weekend nights, when there was a palpable fear among people who were scared to go out.

Some people were no longer going out at weekends and the situation in the last two months was awful to see. The people who were perpetrating this behaviour seemed to think it was a badge of honour and they appeared to be engaging in anti-social activity every weekend.

VERY BAD LIGHT

Colr Treanor said the town had been brought into a very bad light by recent acts of vandalism and attempted burglary, and by unprovoked attacks on innocent people. A small number of young thugs with no respect for themselves or anyone else were trying to set an agenda, and he had recently been contacted by a Dublin-based newspaper on the subject.

The Independent representative asserted that some people in the town were now out walking with batons, pepper sprays and screwdrivers for their own protection. Drugs were being bought and sold in the entryways to car-parks from Dublin Street, and the Municipal District needed to take back control of these areas.

Colr Treanor said there needed to be more Garda patrols and a CCTV system should be introduced in the town. He also called for the entryways in Dublin Street to be closed off.

He also thought that an appeal should be made to the Minister for Justice to establish a new young offenders’ centre. “We have to root out the mayhem and misery being caused to the people of Dublin Street,” he declared, predicting that people would soon take the law into …

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