Longford Gardaí given 'A+' as efforts to change public perception linger

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Longford Garda Station. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie

Co Longford Gardaí came in for high praise during this week's JPC meeting.

Garda bosses have been given a resounding 'A+' for their efforts in tackling criminality throughout Longford and Granard over the past three months

But there was a cautionary word of warning issued over the challenges that still confront senior garda personnel in changing public awareness and attitudes towards crime.

The sobering realities linked to those difficulties came courtesy of Longford based Supt Jim Delaney as he defended the Gardaí's role in curbing organised crime.

In answering a question by Cllr Colm Murray over whether the arrests of several suspected drug dealing individuals in June had enabled garda chiefs to close the net on those at the upper end of the drugs supply food chain in Longford, Supt Delaney was quick to dispel any lingering negativity.

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“Sixteen people have been charged with multiple offences of drug supply,” he remarked.
“ They are people who are dealing at the coalface, on the street and who are directly affecting people’s perception of public safety.

“No army marches without its soldiers and while people may think they are lower level, they are a very key part of that chain and without them the whole machine breaks down.”

A similar robust defence was levelled in the direction of the recent arrest and subsequent court appearance of a man charged in connection to an alleged stabbing in Longford town two weeks ago.

“I got a lot of people saying to me ‘What’s happening in Longford again?’ I actually said if you look back it’s been nearly 18 months or nearly 700 days since we had an incident like that,” he said.

“The remark that was thrown back was ‘Oh it will only be a slap on the wrist’. In actual fact the last incident we had to St Patrick’s Day 2017 the people responsible received very lengthy sentences of eight, ten and 12 years.”

Cllr Peggy Nolan was quick to spring to the Longford Superintendent's aid, giving the Gardaí an 'A+' when it transpired the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding had paved the way for upgrading works to be carried out to the county town's CCTV system.

I must have driven you nuts,” she said, i reference to how many times she had raised the matter at JPC level.

“That's your job Peggy,” quipped Supt Delaney in response.
“You do it really well.”

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