The people of Cappawhite have issued a ‘hands off‘ warning to the government over concerns about the future of the local garda station.
A public meeting was held in Cappawhite, which has experienced a spate of burglaries recently, on Thursday when the Community Alert, Parish Council and members of the local community called for the station to be kept open.
There were concerns in the community that the station was to close following the retirement of the local guard who served in the area and fears were mounting following an increase in break-ins to private homes, mostly of the elderly, following the retirement.
“When the local garda retired last June people in the community were frightened and concerned about the situation and there was an increase in the number of break-ins,” said Teresa Henchey, Secretary of the Community Alert.
The first public meeting was held on November 2 and last Thursday another meeting was held which was attended by politicians and Garda Siochanna representatives, including Supt Padraic Dunne and Crime Prevention Officer Sean Roche.
“There had been a rise in break-ins. The priest in Doon was broken into twice in ten days and the priests were advising people to attend the public meetings. I30 turned up the first night and we had a big attendance the second night as well,” said Teresa.
“Our community had to stand up and be counted in the last few weeks because elderly were being targeted in their homes and something had to be done,” said Teresa.
She said the people of the village and surrounding area which the sub office garda station of Cappawhite covers - Donohill, Anacarty ,Toem and Hollyford - were pleased with assurances given by Supt. Dunne at the meeting that the station would be manned for some period during the day and cover would be provided by Golden, Tipperary and Cahir.
“People need reassurance. We know now that it is not closing for the moment but the government is talking about closing stations all over the country and we had to send out a message that the people living in Cappawhite and the surrounding areas want to keep their station open at all costs,” said Teresa.
Michael Carmody, Community Alert Chairman, said Cappawhite was usually a very law abiding place and they wanted to keep it that way.
John Fahey, Community Alert Treasuer, said people were very concerned as the break-ins were occurring on a regular basis and in one case a break in took place when a mother and her two children were asleep in their rooms.
“We want a visible and a strong garda presence in Cappawhite and the areas that the station covers. People need to know that is going to be there,” he said.
Michael Carmody encouraged people to play an active role in the Community Alert operation that was in place in Cappawhite.
Teresa Henchey said people in the village should have no hesitation in ringing the gardai if they see strange cars or suspicious activity in the area.
“They should get into the habit of taking note of information if they feel there is something suspicious about any strange car or group of people around the place. People should not be afraid to report it,” she said.