Gardaí have made a number of arrests in Killorglin, Co Kerry, in connection with allegations of public order and unsociable behaviour in which a gang of up to 10 men have been terrorising the townspeople.
Some 200 people turned up to a meeting in a hotel last week to voice concerns that the gang were defecating on and urinating in the children’s playground and taunting members of the public going shopping and about their business.
The men were also begging and drinking on the streets and verbally abusing passers- by, it was claimed at the meeting.
The public meeting, organised by Sinn Féin councillor Damien Quigg, was attended by four local councillors.
It also heard criticism of the gardaí, with some people saying not enough was being done. A number of local people had threatened to take the law into their own hands and one man had confronted members of the gang.
Several of the individuals involved in the public order issues have previous convictions and were on bail, the meeting was told.
Garda Superintendent Flor Murphy explained that gardaí could not attend the public meeting as it was called on short notice. The concerns of the public are being treated seriously and a number of arrests were made at the weekend, Supt Murphy said.
Two individuals are to appear before the courts shortly in connection with public order allegations, the Superintendent noted.
A number of ASBOs (Anti-Social Behaviour Orders) for adults have also been served.
A core group of Irish individuals who are regularly before the courts had been joined by up to five people from Cork who were renting a house in Killorglin. However, these five have now moved away.
Drinking in public per se is not an offence — drunkenness is — and a bylaw would have to be implemented to ban drinking in public in Killorglin, the meeting heard.
“We would urge the public to contact the gardaí with details of any incident,” Supt Murphy said.
Councillor John Francis Flynn said that the fact that so many people had shown up at short notice at the meeting showed the depth of concern.
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