Inspector Ollie Kennedy said the bus would be an ideal vehicle to engage with the youth and break down barriers between gardai and the community
THERE has been a warm welcome for a new community minibus that will be launched by An Garda Siochana and Limerick City and County Council this May.
The joint-funded 15-seater bus, which is hoped to be used by a variety of community groups young and old, across the city and county, will be manned by a member of the gardai.
The bus, which will become part of the garda fleet, will be a free service that will bring groups to and from outings and functions.
Speaking at a joint policing committee last week, Inspector Ollie Kennedy, of Roxboro Road garda station, said it is a “perfect opportunity engage with younger people in a proactive manner” and to “break down barriers”.
Chief superintendent Gerard Roche said he was delighted with the new initiative.
“Schools, elderly groups, youth clubs and sports clubs are just some of the groups that will benefit. Providing this service will give us a great opportunity to enhance our existing strong links within the community.”
Gordon Daly, director of Community Development with Limerick City and County Council said: “The community are the big winners here particularly those most vulnerable in the city and county. The new community bus will allow numerous communities and individuals across Limerick to remain connected and provide a safe much needed support for the young and old. The Council is very happy to work with An Garda Síochána to provide this service.
“The project will deliver on fostering a culture of social inclusion and the creation of a worthwhile project of civic and community value in both the City and the County. The project shows the value of working collaboratively and once again highlights the close working relationship between the Council and the Gardaí for the betterment of the community as a whole.”
Fianna Fail TD Niall Collins asked Insp Kennedy if a group wanted to visit him in the Dail or if a retirement group wanted to visit the Aras, could the bus be used. Insp Kennedy told Deputy Collins that they could look into it.