More garda resources needed for suburbs

June 14th, 2020 6:25 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Cllr Seamus McGrath

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COMMUNITIES in the south Cork area are calling for more garda resources, including garda stations with longer opening hours.

The call follows the stabbing and assault of a 17-year-old boy in the Waterpark area of Carrigaline last Saturday night.

A male, also 17, appeared in court this week charged with robbery and assault. A graphic video of the incident was widely shared on social media including Twitter, and gardaí have appealed to the public not to circulate it.

The accused, who cannot be named because he is a juvenile, was released on bail to appear again at Cork District Court on July 10th.

He must abide by strict bail conditions including signing on at his local garda station three days a week; staying off all social media; have no contact, directly or indirectly with three named friends, remain sober, have no contact with any witnesses in the case and stay out of the Carrigaline, Douglas and Blackrock areas of Cork.

Judge Olann Kelleher warned the youth that if he goes on social media and posts anything in relation to the case or has any contact with anyone involved in the case, he will be in breach of his bail and will be taken into custody.

A 15-year-old youth was also arrested on Tuesday morning in connection with the assault and was taken to Togher Garda Station. He was later released and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. Gardaí in Togher also spoke to other teenagers in relation to the incident and investigations are ongoing.

At  a meeting of Cork County Council, Carrigaline-based Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) said the attack was ‘vicious and horrific’.

‘Thankfully, the victim has been released from hospital and his family have issued a statement and if anyone does read it, they can see what an extraordinary family they are,’ said Cllr McGrath.

‘This is coming down to garda resources in suburbs like Carrigaline, Ballincollig and Crosshaven. We have large populations here and unfortunately we haven’t seen the change we deserve, in terms of garda numbers.’

Cllr McGrath said people want to see gardaí out there pro-actively policing in a preventative manner.

‘But that’s not happening here due to shortages and lack of garda resources, and people want a functioning garda station and want longer opening hours.

‘We’ve raised this issue with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris before and we are now asking senior garda management to look at it.’

Cllr Ben Dalton O’Sullivan (Ind) said they were all ‘appalled and shocked’ at the incident.

‘This time last year I had a motion looking for more garda resources and the letter the Council sent was ignored. This is totally unacceptable that this is going on,’ said Cllr Dalton O’Sullivan.

Cllr Audrey Buckley (FF) said issues on the 220 bus route, which serves Ballincollig and Carrigaline, also needs to be discussed.

‘Is it going to take this incident to get things done?’ she asked.

Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) said one particular gang is known to have troublemakers and has been identified before. ‘Why can’t something be done? There are also issues with gangs on buses and a lot of this comes down to laws on juvenile crime and how we handle these in court,’ she said.

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