Gardaí set to boost their presence on Cork city streets

Gardaí set to boost their presence on Cork city streets
Winthrop Street, Cork. Picture: Denis Scannell

GARDA patrols on Winthrop Street are set to increase over the coming weeks after complaints about anti-social behaviour from traders.

It is one of several 'problem areas' in the city centre that are set to see a more prominent garda presence in the coming weeks.

A number of traders contacted Cork City Council complaining that dozens of teens were congregating on Winthrop Street, obstructing access to business.

There were reports of drinking and drug taking, as well as skateboarding, ball-playing, wrestling and fighting.

The issue came to a head over the recent mid-term break, with city representatives calling for gardaí to intervene to disperse crowds.

Gardaí have acknowledged that there is an issue on a number of city streets and are now set to increase their patrols to combat this, according to Fianna Fáil councillor Kenneth O'Flynn.

Mr O'Flynn said that Paul Street and Grand Parade have also been identified as 'problem areas.'

"We should see a significant increase in foot patrols on the ground in the city centre," he said.

"The guards have agreed with the traders and some of the councillors that something needed to be done in the problem areas like Winthrop Street, as well as Grand Parade and Paul Street, which has been an ongoing problem for many years."

The issue was highlighted at a recent meeting of Cork City Council, with a number of representatives calling for action.

Former Lord Mayor, Cllr Mary Shields, said she 'felt unsafe' on Winthrop Street on a recent visit to the area due to the size and volume of the crowds.

Mr O'Flynn welcomed the move, suggesting that the entire city should benefit as a result.

"People need to feel safe - this is the case for traders, tourists and shoppers. While the number of gardaí in the city may pose a challenge, this has always been the great difficulty for our guards, even at the height of the boom. But we have to be able to feel safe in the city and these patrols will help that."

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