More than 60 people attended a meeting of Comeragh Text Alert group in Rathgormack last week in the wake of an aggravated burglary at the home of an elderly couple in Clonea that shocked the rural community.
Rathgormack FG councillor Seanie Power, who chairs the Text Alert group, credited the high turnout to local residents' concern and fear about rural crime since the raid by a gang armed with sticks on the house attached to Clonea Power's village shop on January 9.
Comeragh Text Alert Group covers a large area of Carrick-on-Suir's rural hinterland including Carrickbeg, Windgap, Rathgormack and Clonea.
Cllr Power said more residents from the community signed up to receive the text alerts at the meeting and a number of new volunteers joined the Group's committee.
Det. Insp. Tony Lonergan, who is leading the investigation into the aggravated burglary in Clonea, attended the meeting and urged residents to contact the gardai if they witness any suspicious vehicles or activity in their community.
"If you do hear something or see something no matter how trivial don't be afraid to pick up the phone and contact the Garda Station.
“We will investigate and enquire into it and we will endeavour to get back to you. If we don't come back to you, contact us and we will endeavour to update you. "
The senior garda also stressed the importance of residents knowing their neighbours on the stretch of road they live on and to look out for each other, especially vulnerable people.
The meeting was also addressed by Gda. Sgt. Alan Kissane of Kilmacthomas Garda Station and Muintir na Tíre Community Officer Margaret Quinn while staff from TSB in Clonmel gave a presentation on home insurance.
Ms Quinn appealed to each person at the meeting to identify a "vulnerable" person in their neighbourhood and keep an extra eye out for them. Vulnerable residents weren't just the elderly.
They ranged from those with phsyical and mental illness to those living alone and had suffered bereavement, she stressed.
Cllr Power told the meeting Comeragh Text Alert received €1000 grant to erect Text Alert information signs around the community. He estimates the grant will fund about 30 signs, which will be erected over the next few months.
He said the Text Alert group also has application forms for personal button alarms for elderly residents in their community.
Anyone in the Comeragh Text Alert area wishing to apply for a personal alarm or get involved in the Text Alert Group should contact Cllr Power at (086) 2768184.