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Thursday, 10th August 2017

Bell accuses Gardai and Council of “lack of urgency” over Rathmullen criminality

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The remnants of illegal bonfires at Rathmullen.

Councillor Paul Bell has criticised both Louth County Council and the Gardai for what he says is a “continued lack of urgency” in supporting the community in Rathmullen who continue to experience an unprecedented level of anti-social and criminal behaviour.

Bell says that he raised the situation at Rathmullen at a meeting of the Drogheda Policing Forum over five weeks ago

“I communicated the frustration of residents at the obvious lack of interest of the Council and Gardai in bringing an ever increasing level of anti-social and criminal behaviour in what is a settled an mature Council estate” he said.

“I also advised at that time that residents had co-operated with both authorities trying to protect their community from acts such as joy riding, setting fires and illegal dumping.

Bell said he had put forward proposals to try to eliminate the joy-riding, fire setting and the growing levels of illegal dumping in public areas of the estate.

“This week alone, despite commitments given by Council and Gardai, Louth Fire Service had to be dispatched to the estate on four consecutive nights to extinguish fires lit in public areas and which caused anxiety and distress to local residents.

In the past two weeks three vehicles have been set on fire having been used for joyriding in St Finian’s Park and Rathmullan Park. One of these vehicles was set ablaze on Ballsgrove Green causing alarm for residents due to the close proximity to homes.

Bell confirmed that despite his disappointment with the lack of collaboration and co-ordination between the authorities he has engaged with all the main Departments within Louth County Council demanding action. He has also called on the GARDAI and Louth County Council to meet at senior level to discuss the issues and to agree a response.

“I aim to continue my efforts to support this community and intend to demand a full update at the next meeting of Drogheda Municipal at which I intend to also have a motion discussed on how to address open space on the estate being used for dumping and criminal behaviour.

“I also wish to salute the residents of the estate for their commitment to confront and end the spate of lawlessness which has been ongoing unchecked for almost a year”.

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