Gardaí to reach out in ‘unique’ event

Local Gardaí are going to reach out to children in disadvantaged areas of the county in a “unique” event in the run up to Christmas.

Next week will see local community gardaí visiting children and giving them chocolates and a Christmas card.

Inside the card will be the phone numbers for local support agencies.

Inspector Niall McKiernan told members of Cavan’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) that the event will take place next week, December 17 and 18, and will see members calling to homes in disadvantaged areas.

He described it as a “unique divisional event”, forming part of Garda efforts to ramp up community policing across Cavan and Monaghan.

Chief Superintendent Alan McGovern gave his backing to the plan and praised local members for their initiative.

“It’s about getting community police out on the street in hard to reach areas. We particularly want to try and reach young people who may have a fear of the uniform.”

JPC members also threw their support behind the plans. Cllr Patricia Walsh (FF) described it as “an excellent initiative”.

Members also called for an increased Garda presence on the streets and more members patrolling areas and meeting people in communities.

Cllr Paddy McDonald (SF) said gardaí have lost the connection with people in local towns and villages and need to work to regain it: “They have lost the respect of communities because they’re flying around in the car.”

Cllr Peter McVitty (FG) praised the work of Inspector Niall McKiernan and other Garda members in tackling ongoing anti-social behaviour issues in Ballyconnell in recent weeks.