it is hoped that up to 100 of the southside’s more vulnerable residents will be provided with new security locks after a successful community safety night was held at Southill House.
Organised by Southill Development Co-op and geared at the over-55s, the event was attended by over 60 members of the public who were briefed by Southill community garda Niamh Keogh and Superintendent Dan Keane of Roxboro Garda Station.
Pat Kennedy, enterprise manager with the co-operative, said that they were working with Limerick City Council to fit chains and locks in the homes of the over-55s who are living alone.
“The council is covering the cost of providing them and we here at the SDC will do the installation. It’s a very good programme that provides that extra bit of security for people who are living alone. We had about 60 people who came from around the area on the night and we expect that be the time they have told their friends and neighbours about the programme we will be able to help up to 100 people,” said Mr Kennedy.
Another element of the community safety night was advice and information on personal safety and panic alarms for pensioners.
Available to the over-65s, this is the government-administered scheme that was threatened with cutbacks in the new year but a public outcry by the elderly and their advocacy groups forced the coalition into a change of heart. The devices can be worn on the wrist or around the neck and can be easily activated in the case of a medical emergency or a break-in.
“We had speakers from Alert Link South advising residents on funded systems which are available such as personal and panic alarms. Our aim is to restore confidence, independence and peace of mind and to encourage people to remain in their homes and be a member of their own community. The service makes a real difference to peoples lives,” commented SDC general manager Tracey Lynch.
Those who attended last week’s briefing at Southill House also got a presentation from community garda Niamh Keogh on safety at home and in the community while Supt Keane was also there to ensure the gardai were there to protect elderly citizens in the area.
“There is a great community spirit in Southill and even though some people say it is not as strong as it used to be, we had 60 people who came which is great when you think that a similar night we held only two years ago had only 15 people,” Mr Kennedy said.