Calls for choppers

This article is from page 8 of the 2012-07-31 edition of The Clare People. OCR mistakes are to be expected so download the original SWF or the rendered page 8 JPG

THERE have been calls for the Garda helicopter to be deployed in the skies over South East Clare to aid crime prevention in the area.

The suggestion was put forward by local councillor Cathal Crowe (FF) at yesterday’s meeting of the Clare Joint Policing Committee.

According to Cllr Crowe, the banks of the River Shannon are the setting for criminal acts including drinking, drug taking and some sexual activity. He also cited recent incidents of “disgusting” vandalism at a graveyard in southeast Clare.

He said the helicopter has already been deployed over parts of Limerick City “100 yards” from the border with Clare.

Cllr Pascal Fitzgerald (Lab) said that for the cost of deploying the helicopter, two more gardaí could probably be put on patrol in the area.

Chief Supt John Kerin said the helicopter is only deployed for “serious and specific” reasons. He said there is some merit in the proposal and that he would raise it with his colleagues in Limerick.

The issue of underage drinking in public places was also discussed at the meeting. Cllr Fitzgerald said drink bylaws must be enforced par ticularly in residential areas.

JPC Chairman, Clr Joe Arkins (FG) said people are making “regular deliveries” of alcohol are providing drink for profit to youngsters.

Cllr Oliver Garry (FG) said parents must take responsibility for their children.

He said, “A lot of them don’t know where their kids are, what they’re doing, what they’re drinking and what they’re smoking.”

Chief Supt John Kerin said there isn’t a massive problem with “bush drinking” in Clare.

In relation to drinking in public places, Chief Supt Kerin said, “There are many estates and villages where it is not illegal for people to drink in public.”

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