Cllr Adam Tesky
“IT’S high time we actually do something” about antisocial behaviour in Rathkeale at Christmas, according to a local councillor.
Cllr Adam Teskey put forward a motion at the monthly municipal meeting of Adare Rathkeale, which seeks to take action on a number of issues caused by the rapid population growth in December each year.
“To witness it is something that would scare people,” said the Fine Gael councillor.
“We had situations occurring in this town, where people were walking in masses, with no due regard or respect for anyone else, up and down the footpaths.
“They were blatantly littering the streets — I went into the town at four o’clock one morning to view and inspect it and walk through it, and there were public bins completely empty, and the litter that was around them on the ground was just unbelievable, it was unsightly,” he stressed.
Cllr Teskey also raised the issue of public order, citing a number of individual cases from Christmas 2016, including an assault on a pensioner.
He also highlighted an incident in which members of the public closed a road in the town centre.
“If you or I had to block off the street, we’d have to apply for permits, and God knows what red tape and bureaucracy we’d have to go through,” said Cllr Teskey.
“But this person decided to pull a jeep across one section of the road and another jeep on another section of the road, and they gave themselves free gratis of the town, up and down.
Cllr Stephen Keary said that the “root cause” of the problem ought to be tackled by “reducing the number of entries into the town”.
He suggested that the council should seek to “eliminate weddings throughout the month of December”.
However, Cllr Ciara McMahon said that the local authority and the church should not have an input in each other’s business.
“There isn’t a blueprint like this anywhere in the world. It’s a dynamic that is very hard to balance,” she said.
Cllr Kevin Sheahan called for Rathkeale to look to festival towns to learn how to benefit from seasonal population increases.
As for policing, Cllr Sheahan said: “Someone higher than Limerick will have to give us the resources” to allow increased patrolling.
“The rest will follow if you are seen to have gardaí,” he added.
Cllr Teskey moved to invite a number of representatives to an upcoming meeting to plan for next Christmas, including Inspector Alan Cullen of Newcastle West garda station, a member of the council with responsibility for litter and local TDs.
“I can’t get over the arrogance and ignorance that is being shown, and the disrespect that is being shown, for people who live in this town.
“It’s gone crazy, it’s utterly ridiculous,” he added.