A scene where syringes and needles are discarded by drug users and empty beer cans and bottles are strewn around the place after drinking parties sounds like a discovery that might be made in an abandoned building.
But those syringes, needles, cans and bottles have been found in the grounds of a church in the centre of Clonmel.
“Needles and syringes were found last week by Fas workers for the third time since Christmas. Since the turn of the year ten of these have been left here”, says George Hogg, the warden of the Church of Ireland.
The situation has reached the stage where Mr. Hogg is warning parents of school children walking through the church grounds of the dangers that they might come across there.
The anti-social behaviour in the area also resulted in a 75 year-old woman being mugged as she walked the grounds between 11 and 12 o’clock last Sunday morning week, when her bag was snatched and her purse stolen. And a man exposed himself to women there some months ago.
Bottles and cans left behind after drinking parties are gathered in a bin bag every Sunday morning.
“There’s no respect for the sacred church grounds and what is one of the last historical sites left standing in the town”, says George Hogg.
Part of the gate on the Anne Street side of the grounds has been broken. Another gate was removed from a wall to enable people to enter and occupy one of the towers on the site.
Mr. Hogg said that anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area shouldn’t approach those involved and instead should contact the Gardai. “The Gardai patrol the area regularly but they cannot be there all the time”, he said.