A PETITION calling for greater Garda presence in Carrigaline has gathered more than 1,000 signatures in two days.
The petition, set up by local woman Ciara Carroll, is directed at the Department of Justice and Equality and focuses on the increase of antisocial behaviour in the area and the negative impact it is having on the community.
Carrigaline is one of Cork’s largest commuter towns with a population of almost 16,000 at the last census. At present, the Carrigaline Garda Station only opens from 2pm to 8pm, and from 5pm to 8pm on Fridays.
There have been a number of high-profile incidents of antisocial behaviour in the town in recent weeks, which have sparked calls for more gardaí on the streets.
Local Fianna Fáil councillor Seamus McGrath said he is very much in support of the petition.
“The issue of Garda resources is of critical importance to any community,” he said.
“Carrigaline is a large town and deserves a much stronger presence of gardaí.
“We need to see more gardaí on patrol and increased visibility in the community, as well as a Garda station which is open to the public.
“We have raised this issue countless times with the authorities and I welcome the petition which has come from the community and will clearly demonstrate the depth of feeling about this issue.”
Carrigaline is soon to become the largest town in the county when Ballincollig, currently the largest town, is subsumed into the city. It therefore needs to have the structures in place to cope with the increased population and activity, said Mr McGrath.
“Carrigaline will soon be the largest town in the county and, in my view, has a very positive future. However, we must get the basics right and people must feel safe and well protected.”
Mr McGrath also said the issue is not isolated to Carrigaline and that a number of suburban towns are feeling the pinch from a lack of Garda resources.
“The gardaí who are in Carrigaline do their best, but there simply are not enough of them. I appreciate this is not just a Carrigaline issue; Cork, in general, does not get its fair share of new gardaí. The same case can be made for Douglas, Passage West, Crosshaven, and other suburbs,” he said.