RENEWED calls for additional gardaí in Carrigaline were made at a Carrigaline Community Safety Forum this week, with concerns expressed that resources have not kept pace with growth in the town.
The meeting, which took place at Carrigaline Community Complex and drew a large crowd, was attended by Chief Superintendent Tom Myers.
Speaking to The Echo after the meeting, Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said he believed the meeting was a “useful” one.
“I had been hoping — and I think the other public representatives would have been hoping — that we would have had more definitive news on opening hours and additional gardaí, that wasn’t the case.
“I do think that the crowd that was there — there were about 50 or 60 people — did feel heard by the chief super.
“It was important that the most senior guard in Cork came to Carrigaline and listened to the frustrations that are there.
“It was a well-attended meeting and the community association and various other organisations participated,” he continued.
A Cork County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) was informed in January that 22 gardaí are stationed in Carrigaline, with two more in Crosshaven, and two in Passage West.
Mr Ó Laoghaire said he believes gardaí in Carrigaline are “stretched too far”.
“Carrigaline is growing really quickly and there’s a big young population and even though there are excellent gardaí on the ground, there is a feeling, I think that’s shared across the community, that there just isn’t enough of them.
Mr Ó Laoghaire said Chief Supt Myers pointed towards retention and recruitment issues the force is facing.
“From our point of view, we’ve been banging this drum for several years now — not just me, but the other public representatives as well — and we don’t feel as if we’re making any headway,” Mr Ó Laoghaire said.
“We’ve had a number, unfortunately, of very, very serious incidents in the last year and I think a lot of people were very distressed by that.
“Carrigaline is a fantastic town and there’s great community cohesion there, but I think there is a fear that the town is growing so fast and the garda presence that should go with it isn’t going with it.
“That goes for crime prevention as well as solving crimes.
“In fairness those serious incidents, there has been follow-up and people have been brought before the courts, but what you want is a visible garda presence, patrols on the street, to try and prevent things like that happening.”