Athlone Drug Awareness Group to host public meeting as anti-social behaviour concerns rise

The Athlone Drug Awareness Group will host a second public meeting in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel on Monday, October 9, at 7.30pm, amid escalating anti-social behaviour concerns, Cllr Frankie Keena stated this week.

Cllr Keena, who chairs the group, informed the Athlone Advertiser that Oireachtas members in the Longford/Westmeath constituency, the Gardai, a representative from Westmeath County Council Housing Department and the Midlands Regional Drug & Alcohol Taskforce have been invited to attend this meeting.

“As these people/agencies cover areas of policy making, law enforcement, housing and a broad range of services/support information in relation to substance misuse, then they should be in attendance.

“Over 50 people attended a similar meeting last May where those present were very forthcoming in highlighting a wide range of anti-social behavioural issues and the presence of visible drug dealers on our streets. Feedback will be given on these issues next Monday night.

“Unfortunately, these concerning activities are still occuring throughout our communities. For instance, I am still receiving regular emails on these issues and indeed I notice that social media is alive with comments on it also.

“People are very vocal in stating that they are scared and concerned for their families and that the image of Athlone is being destroyed by such ongoing issues. Well, now is the time for people to move away from their computers and turn up at this public meeting to raise their concerns to these invited guests,” Cllr Keena stated.

The chairman noted that the agenda for the meeting will solely focus on local community issues.

“Immediately following this meeting, a further discussion will be held to address the potential negative impact that the new Garda Operational Model will have on Athlone and all are welcome to attend,” Cllr Keena concluded.


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