Cllr Pearse McGeough: JPC Public Meeting Useful and Progressive

At a public meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) for Mid-Louth, Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough described the meeting as “very useful” and “a progressive way for the public to have their issues heard.”

The meeting was held at the Grove Hotel in Dunleer at the request of Cllr McGeough who is also Chair of the JPC. There was an attendance of around 40 and the proceedings got underway with a minute’s silence for Cameron Reilly who was from the town and was murdered on 26th May this year.

There were presentations from Louth County Council, An Garda Siochána (crime statistics) and on Cyber Crime.

Cllr McGeough said “I wanted to ensure that the public were heard first and foremost, and all those who attended were able to air their views on issues in the area and had the ear of Chief Superintendent Chris Mangan who I feel listened and took it all on board.”

Various issues were raised from drug taking, drug dealing, car parking, unmanned rural Garda stations to general anti-social behaviour.

Cllr McGeough said “there is a huge deficit in resources needed for the Gardaí to carry out their work effectively. Chief Superintendent Mangan was very forthright on that point. For example, if a murder occurs in the County, that is 20% of his budget gone. That is how much resources go into a murder. Now bear in mind, we have had three murders in County Louth this year and as CS Mangan pointed out, we now have the highest murder rate outside of Dublin, not something we can be proud of.”

Cllr Pearse McGeough & Imelda Munster TD

Also present was Imelda Munster TD who towards the end of the meeting told of her frustrations with the Minister as she was fighting for additional Garda resources in the Dáil. Those frustrations were mirrored by CS Mangan who has to justify his ‘overspending’ on a budget that was insufficient to meet the needs of the County.

Cllr McGeough said “people need to feel safe and in order for us all to live in a community where that can happen we need to be pro-active in looking out for each other and work closely with the Gardaí in reporting crimes and encourage our Community Garda to become integrated into our communities. I want to commend the Community Gardaí that we currently have throughout the county, they do great work and their local knowledge is invaluable in investigating local crimes. We need more of them but again, we are back to a resources issue.”

“In short, if we want to live peacefully and safely in our communities we all need to work together, the public, An Garda Siochana, Louth County Council, business owners and anyone who has an interest in where they live or work. I feel that the public took an active role at the meeting and were listened to, I want to thank everyone who attended.”

Ó Murchú: Gov Need to Get Realistic over Garda Resources

The lack of resources for policing Dundalk and North Louth, while Gardaí should be preparing for Brexit in less than six months’ time, was “laid bare in a frank and shocking fashion” at the public meeting of the Joint Policing Committee in Carlingford, according to Sinn Féin’s Ruairí Ó Murchú.

“Louth Garda’s Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan was “very forthright” in his assessment of the resources available to Gardaí in this area” Cllr. Ó Murchú said, “and highlighted, a number of times, the ‘deplorable’ state of Dromad Garda station on the border.”

The meeting, which was held in the Four Seasons Hotel, heard from CS Mangan about how he has been ‘forceful’ in his pleas to the Assistant Commissioner for more resources, including better Garda stations, and for more cars, particularly for the community policing units in Dundalk and Drogheda, which currently have none.

Cllr. Ó Murchú said; “CS Mangan was articulate and very forthright in his assessment of the resources needed immediately for policing in Dundalk and North Louth. It was shocking to hear how he has been asking repeatedly for an upgrade for Dromad station, which he said is in a ‘deplorable’ state. In addition, he revealed that he has been involved in planning for policing post-Brexit, which he admitted will take a huge amount of resources.

“And on top of this, this is one of the busiest districts in policing terms in the State.”

Cllr Ó Murchú said “It is clear there are serious problems in this area and Garda management have to listen to what CS Mangan is saying. And more importantly, the government, who are framing the budget next week, have to give proper and realistic regard to the additional resources needed, not only for everyday policing – which is clearly suffering – but also to prepare adequately for Brexit.

“In the wider context, the government needs to ensure there is no intensification of customs and security checks at the border and for this to happen, the experts now widely agree, means the North has to stay within the customs union and the single market.”

Cllr Pearse McGeough Welcomes Drug Seizure in Louth

Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough has welcomed the seizure of an estimated €1 million of cannabis herb at Collon and subsequent follow up searches of properties in Ardee and Slane.

Cllr McGeough who is also Chair of the Joint Policing Committee for mid-Louth said “this is a great start. There is more work to be done but this is very significant and has taken €1 million worth of drugs off our streets. I welcome the find and want to commend those involved in the operation which was a result of a Cross-border Joint Action Force. It’s only through co-operation north and south and together with communities that we can tackle crime effectively.”

Cllr McGeough also took the opportunity to encourage the public “to attend the upcoming meeting of the Joint Policing Committee which is open to all.  We are holding it at 8pm on Thursday 4th October at the Grove Hotel in Dunleer. This is our community and we all have a say in how it is policed going forward.”

The meeting in Dunleer covers the areas of Ardee, Dunleer and Clogherhead Garda districts.

There will be a similar meeting in Drogheda on Monday evening 1st October at 8pm in the D Hotel for the Drogheda South Louth area and on Tuesday 2nd October at 8pm at the Four Seasons Hotel in Carlingford for the Dundalk North Louth area.

Cllr McGeough said “there will be presentations from An Garda Siochana and the Local Authority and an interesting one on cyber crime which is on the increase and affects all of us. The public will get a chance to ask questions or to raise issues so please, whatever part of Louth you are from, please try and attend the meeting in your area. This drugs seizure was a good start, but there’s still work to be done so let’s do it together as a community.”

Cllr David Saurin Condemns Petrol Bomb Attack

Sinn Féin Councillor David Saurin has condemned the recent criminal behaviour in Drogheda’s Tredagh View which culminated in a petrol bomb attack on a house in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Cllr Saurin said “This behaviour is totally unacceptable and those who carried it out have no regard for the damage or injury they could have caused. Thankfully on this occasion no-one was seriously hurt but we could have been waking up to a tragedy this morning. These actions have to stop. They are not wanted in the community.”

David Saurin urged anyone who had any information to contact the Gardaí.

He also urged residents of the area and indeed, other parts of Drogheda, to attend an upcoming public meeting being held by the Joint Policing Committee.

“The meeting will be held in the Westcourt Hotel on 9th October at 7.30pm and everyone is welcome to attend. This anti-social behaviour is not what Drogheda is about and I would encourage everyone to attend and learn about neighbourhood watch and other initiatives that communities can take to help get on top of crime. Residents, Gardaí and local authorities must all work together to combat crime.”

Drogheda SF Urge Public to Attend Joint Policing Committee Meeting

Drogheda SF Cllrs Kenneth Flood, Joanna Byrne & David Saurin

The 2017 Joint Policing Committee (JPC) Public Meeting date has been confirmed for 7.30pm on the 9th of October in The Westcourt Hotel, Drogheda.

Chairperson of the South Louth Joint Policing Committee Kenneth Flood said “I would encourage every Drogheda and South Louth resident to come along to the public JPC meeting. It is a vitally important meeting as it gives the people of Drogheda and South Louth the opportunity to put their questions, queries and worries regarding crime and policing to their elected representatives, the local authorities and the Gardaí. There will be informative presentations on the night, including one on crime prevention that would be very helpful to all residents.”
Cllr. David Saurin said “There have been well documented and highlighted cases of ongoing anti-social behaviour in several areas of Drogheda this year. Not least among them is in the Rathmullen Park area where new bollards have been erected to counteract the joy riding that was happening there. I want to welcome the new bollards but I would also like anyone affected by anti-social behavior to come to this meeting to hear about neighbourhood watch and other initiatives. We will only get on top of crime when the residents, local authorities and Garda all work together to combat it.”
Cllr. Joanna Byrne said “The JPC deals with all crime including headline crime cases like burglary and drug offences but it also deals with the crimes that affect all of us like illegal dumping. We have done a huge amount of work to combat dumping that is plaguing certain areas of our town and countryside but more is needed. If you feel like this issue, or any other has affected you, please come along on the night.”
Finally, Cllr. Flood said “If you wish to have a question answered on the night, please forward it to me in advance so we can assure that the answers are prepared and available.”