Gardaí urged to act against street traders and beggars

LOCAL people and visitors to tourist haven Killarney are being regularly pestered by ticket sellers, beggars and street vendors of goods such as flowers, hats and Chinese lamps, it was claimed yesterday.

Gardaí have been asked to take action and check the legality of sellers who flood into the town at weekends and during the busy tourist season.

“This practice should be stopped, as it is illegal and is causing a lot of concern to the people of the town,” said Independent Councillor Donal Grady, who raised the issue.

“We have sellers from Cork coming down here at weekends. Some may be colourful, but they are causing a nuisance. Casual trading bylaws are being totally ignored.

“While some local people have been stopped from trading legally at Market Cross, these people are allowed to sell on the streets at night,” he added.

Independent councillor Niall O’Callaghan said a six- or seven-year-old looking for money had done a ‘wobbler’ at him because he would not give the child money.

Independent Councillor Michael Courtney said professional fund raisers working for national organisations were ‘pushing’ their sales around the streets of Killarney. There was also begging on the streets and tourists were being annoyed.

“The problem is becoming very bad in Killarney and we need to clean up the situation. These people are getting money from other sources and they don’t need to be begging,” Mr Courtney said.

But, Labour Councillor Sean O’Grady took a different view, which had called for action against such people.

While conceding that professional sellers were a ‘pain in the backside’ he said people had the right to refuse to contribute to them.

Town clerk Michael O’Leary said there were practical difficulties in applying the bylaws, while selling late at night was a matter for law enforcement.

Killarney gardaí are to be contacted by the council on the matter.

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