PATRICK’S QUAY has become ‘tainted’ with antisocial behaviour thanks to the population living in tents in the area, a former Lord Mayor of Cork has said.
Fine Gael councillor Des Cahill said that he has received a number of calls from local residents and businesses complaining about the issue.
He said one person who stepped off the Aircoach complained of seeing men urinating from inside the railings out onto the footpath.
Mr Cahill said while he has complained to City Hall about the issue but nothing is being done.
“I have been asking the management inside in City Hall weekly and they keep asking me for patience and saying there are things being done. It is just not evident.”
Mr Cahill said that aside from the anti-social behaviour, there is a risk to the individuals living on the quays and this is a liability issue for Cork City Council.
“If something happens one of those people, God forbid, they will be looking for heads to roll in City Hall.
“This is clearly a health and safety issue. If something was to happen one of those people, who would be responsible? My view is Cork City Council would be responsible because it is our land. We all know if someone falls into the river it will be City Hall who will be held to blame.”
Mr Cahill said he has been told by local residents that Gardaí regularly attend the area for a number of issues.
Superintendent Mick Comyns said they have received a number of public order complaints from local residents and business owners in the area
“We are proactively policing the area for the last number of weeks in response to complaints made by businesses and local people there and we are working closely with City Hall.” Supt Comyns said.
A statement released by Cork City Council said that there are beds available for the individuals sleeping in tents on the quays, but they do not want to be housed.
“We know there is bed capacity in the city’s homeless hostels and therefore tent dwellers are visited by the Simon outreach team and Cork City Council’s outreach worker very regularly and invited to avail of the options available. The consistent response is one of non-engagement and a wish not to interact with any services.
“Staff are told that this form of accommodation is a personal choice the people concerned have made. Furthermore, they are not asking to be housed.”