Gardai in Castlebar have pledged to tackle the issue of drinking outdoors over the coming weeks before the summer starts and the issue becomes a major problem.
Mayor of Castlebar, Cllr Ger Deere told a meeting of the Castlebar Joint Policing Committee, that on St Patrick’s Day there was aserious issue at Lough Lannagh which required a major clean up afterwards. “With the weather getting better and the schools coming to a close it could happen again and we need to clamp down on it.”
Inspector Martin Byrne told the meeting that, “we will be putting operations in place, in the past we have found that plain clothes operations we have put in place has worked very well and we have intercepted a lot of youths soon after they get their hands on alcohol.
But now with the opening up of Lough Lannagh there are a number of new entrances and exits from there and it could prove to be difficult to police going forward.”
Independent Cllr Michael Kilcoyne asked the Inspector if there were any prosecutions for drinking outdoors since the bye law banning it was introduced in Castlebar a number of years ago.
Inspector Byrne said that he was not aware of any, but he would look into it. He went on to say that a large number of juvenile cautions had been issued as the vast majority of people detected were under 18 years of age.”
The issue of the getting the CCTV that was put in at Lough Lannagh a number of years ago by the Castlebar Tidy Towns Committee linked up to the Garda network was also raised. The system was damaged by vandals in the past and hasn’t been working for a number of years, but it was proposed to look at getting it back on line and linking it in with the Garda system in the town. Superintendent Peter O’Boyle told the meeting that it was a good idea.