Fianna Fáil will hold a public meeting in Kilkenny next Wednesday in response to concerns over a spike in burglaries, thefts and anti-social behavior activity across the county.
The Fianna Fáil bye-election candidate for Carlow-Kilkenny Bobby Aylward will host the public meeting. Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins TD will also address the meeting.
Mr Aylward commented, “One thing that people are consistently raising with me when I talk to them on the doors is the concerns that they have about growing rates of crime. People are worried about the increasing threats to the safety of their home, their business and their overall community.
“The local Gardai are being severely hampered due to a slash and burn of their resources. They are trying their best to fulfill their duties. However Government cutbacks have meant they are hamstrung in their ability to prevent and investigate crime.
“The Government says it is serious about tackling crime in our communities. However judging by its actions it is clear that this is not the case. Communities such as Ballyragget, Johnstown and Inistioge have had their Garda stations closed down while other parts of Kilkenny have seen a reduction in Garda manpower at a time when crime levels are rising.
“Drugs related crime is also on the rise and is fuelling thefts and aggravated burglaries in Kilkenny. Despite this the Government decided to abolish the position of Minister for Drugs. This effectively means that there is no one at the cabinet table who is focused on addressing drug addiction and the incidents of crime associated with drug dealing and trafficking.
“I have organised a public meeting on crime to allow people to bring forward their concerns and to ensure that steps are taken to address the problem. I am particularly interested in hearing from Neighbourhood Watch groups and other community organisations.
The time has come for the Government to wake up and realize that decisive action needs to be taken to ensure that people feel safe in their homes and communities” said Mr Aylward.