“This town will close down if it’s not helped out; it’ll rot.” These were the sentiments expressed by a business owner during last night’s public meeting in Longford town to address the rise in criminality and anti-social behaviour across the county.
Chaired by Cllr Gerry Warnock (Ind) and County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Mark Casey (Ind) the meeting in the Longford Arms Hotel was attended by nearly 400 people who expressed their fears and concerns about a number of issues including drug dealing, displays of excessive wealth ‘by those who never worked a day in their lives’ and the increase in assaults and random attacks on the streets of Longford.
“So frightened are people, I know of a number of elderly citizens in this town who used to walk up town at night to have a couple of pints, but they wouldn’t do that now; they are too frightened to go up town,” said Cllr Warnock.
One woman in attendance revealed that she saw a man’s head being “thumped” off the ground as she went about her business in Longford town last week.
“This was at 3pm on a Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon,” she fumed.
Cllr Seamus Butler (FF) indicated that he had been informed ‘at the highest level’ that the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) was on their way to Longford to investigate the displays of wealth.
“These people need to be hit in the pocket and get them out of Longford,” he added.
Before concluding proceedings, Cllr Mark Casey pointed out that for evil to reign it only took good people to do nothing.
“We must reclaim what is ours - a beautiful, lovely county,” he said. “We must get the scum out and insist that in order to live in Longford, you must be a decent, law abiding citizen.”
A second public meeting has been organised for Thursday, December 11.
For more coverage of last night’s public meeting, see next Wednesday’s ‘Longford Leader’.