Call for Task Force to deal with crime issues in Clonmel District

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The Dáil has been told that Gardaí are in danger of losing control due to a lack of officers in the Clonmel District.

Deputy Mattie McGrath has asked for a task force to deal with crime issues in the area.

The Independent TD claims Garda numbers in Clonmel are simply not sufficient to deal with roving gangs which he says are terrorising the area.

“Gardaí are in danger themselves going around in a squad car on their own in the middle of the night.

“Will you set up a task force to deal with the problem in Clonmel and the outlying parishes? There’s roving gangs intimidating farmers and all families under the auspices of lamping – which is illegal anyway – and hunting of rabbits and hares which is illegal as well. Unmuzzled – we don’t hear anything about that.

“They’re intimidating farmers, their wives, their families. It’s almost out of control and Gardaí are going to lose control unless you send in resources immediately.”

In response the Justice Minister said the government is doing all it can to provide adequate Garda numbers to police Clonmel and other Districts in Tipperary.

Minister Helen McEntee said ongoing recruitment would see around 460 more recruits at the Garda College this year with a further 1,000 next year.

“So that would see 200 Gardaí every three months being sent out to the various different towns, villages, communities – rural and urban. And obviously that will help to bolster Gardaí on the ground but working in specialised teams as well.

“In terms of rural crime Operation Thor and a number of other specific targeted operations which look at these type of rural gangs is being rolled out and will be rolled out across the winter months as well.”