Garda Commissioner urged to provide more resources to tackle northside gang

Garda Commissioner urged to provide more resources to tackle northside gang
Security hut in Spring Lane, Cork.

THE Garda Commissioner has been urged to provide increased garda resources to tackle ongoing intimidation, arson and illegal dumping by a gang on the northside of the city.

Last Friday night, a portable security building at Ellis’s Yard was set alight in the latest incident of intimidation by the gang.

The arson occurred following a decision last week to remove the security staff manning the former Ballyvolane illegal dump after they were threatened by an armed and masked mob. 

Ellis's Yard, located next to the Spring Lane halting site, was a massive illegal dump until City Hall hired private contractors to clean it up in March, at a cost of more than €53,000.

Local residents in the area have said they are living in fear that someone will be hurt after the intimidation and arson attack.

Following the incident on Friday night, Fianna Fáil Councillor Ken O’Flynn wrote to the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

In the letter, Mr O’Flynn said it has become apparent that there is a group of people involved in a “highly organised campaign” involving Ellis's Yard.

“An illegal dump has been operated on this site for many years by this group who are well known to Gardaí,” Mr O’Flynn said.

The Councillor outlined the efforts of the council to put a stop to the dumping, from cleaning up the site and installing CCTV to hiring a security team to monitor the area.

“Last week the CCTV systems were vandalised and pulled from their positions in the dead of night with the security team monitoring the site being forced from the site by armed and masked men wielding golf clubs and bats," he said.

“The security hut was burnt out and thankfully nobody was injured this time. The armed regional support unit has been on site and diffused various tense situations.” 

Mr O’Flynn asked the Commissioner to intervene in the situation.

“I believe the intervention of the Revenue Commissioners, the Criminal Assets Bureau and the Gardai need to be considered for the well-known perpetrators in this case so that their illegal activities can be stopped and their intimidation of this site can be ended once and for all.” 

The Councillor also invited Commissioner Harris to visit Ellis’s Yard on his first visit to Cork, whenever that might be.

“I would ask you to visit this site and for us to discuss this appalling situation that has been a blight on the lives of so many people for so long," added Mr O'Flynn.

A spokesperson for An Garda Siochana said they are investigating an incident of “criminal damage by fire” on the site in question on May 3 at 11pm.

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