Tuesday, 17th July 2018
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Last week saw the Garda community engagement forum take place in the Ferrybank Parish Hall. The Chief Superintendent, Superintendent, detectives and local Gardai were all in attendance. Various local residents along with representatives of the Ferrybank Tidy Towns, Traders Association, Residents Association and local Councillors all attended and contributed.

Speaking after the event local Councillor Eamon Quinlan said "A strong contribution I wanted to make at the meeting was the level of vandalism caused by anti-social behaviour in the area. I know firsthand of families under constant intimidation along with local community facilities being constantly damaged. The silver bullet here for me was the increase in the Garda Station in Rockenham's resources to produce a 24 hour service. Such a presence in the heart of Ferrybank would increase response times, allow anonymous reporting to community based Gardai and negate several crimes due to the perception of nearby Gardai at all times".

The main focus was around a small number of dedicated trouble makers who see Ferrybank as a soft touch. "The population of Ferrybank is now six thousand people. The population of new families with young children is very high and the lack of free community facilities is often cited as a hindrance to keeping young kids engaged. Clubs such as the GAA, Soccer clubs, Foroige etc are to the fore in battling for Ferrybank's future by investing in the community and teaching kids respect for their neighbourhood. These groups need support and the Gardai must be one of the key pillars to Ferrybanks future prosperity" said Cllr Quinlan.

While the meeting was good tempered and the Gardai spoke about preventative measures along with increasing Gardai activity in the area, they were not willing to commit to a 24 hour station in the short term until their own numbers increase further. Ferrybank was accepted as a special case deserving attention and locals requested follow up meetings in order to continue to promote progress on all fronts

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