Help sought from Traveller advocacy group to resolve Cashel problems

Cars in line at McDonald's drive-thru in Cashel | Photo (c) Pat Murphy, Tipp FM

Staff and customers at the motorway service area off the M8 in Cashel are being subjected to harassment according to the manager of the McDonalds outlet there.

Maria Lyons says Gardaí have been called on numerous occasions to deal with children ranging in age from 7 or 8 to early teens from a nearby halting site.

Speaking on Tipp Today Maria said she had recently made contact with a Traveller advocate group which did have an impact.

“We’ve been in touch with them – only recently now I have to say – and it has helped. We had agreements in place where if they stayed away for a certain length of time then they’d be allowed back in. It helped for a for a time but we’re back to square one now again.”

Gardaí have been called to the site off Junction 8 on numerous occasions while local politicians have also been lobbied to tackle the problem.

Maria says the authorities were unaware of how out of hand things have gotten there.

“To be honest a lot of the representatives and Gardaí that we’ve spoken to weren’t aware of how bad it had actually got. It’s vandalism, breaking stuff in the bathrooms, locking themselves into the bathrooms.

“There is an element of harassing customers as well – there’s some customers might ring us a day later and say ‘I did not feel safe on your premises.’ But unless we know about it at the time and the Gardaí are called its hard to fix it.”