Chamber Calls On Minister To Allocate More Gardaí To Tackle Problems In Town Centre

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The Chamber Alliance is calling for greater garda resources in Tralee.

TRALEE Chamber Alliance has asked the Minister for Justice to allocate more Garda resources to Tralee to help overcome some anti-social behaviour problems in the town centre.

Minister Frances Fitzgerald has been asked formally by the Chamber, to prioritise Tralee when the next 200 Garda Probationers are allocated to various towns in July and September of this year (100 in July and 100 in September).

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Concern over the lack of a Garda presence on the streets of Tralee has been raised at recent meetings with the town’s retailers, shoppers, community representatives and Vintners.

They all agree that the local economy and the potential to generate a vibrant nightlife in Kerry’s capital town, have been affected by the presence of small groups of youths and anti-social individuals who congregate in key areas of Tralee.

The CEO of Tralee Chamber Alliance, Kieran Ruttledge, said: “If there were more gardaí on the streets they would be able to react quicker to and deter further trouble in areas such as The Square and Town Park. We have met senior gardaí in Kerry who have given us a number of reasons why they find it difficult to maintain a continual Garda presence on the streets. Key among them was that a large amount of Garda time is allocated to having a presence at Court hearings. It would seem that Tralee is at a significant disadvantage to other towns because of the volume of Court business – not all Tralee-related matters – and the time required.”

The Minister was told in the letter that preference on Garda allocation should be given to towns like Tralee where busy courts are located and require back-up Garda resources to police the town while other gardaí are deployed to court duty.

Tralee Chamber Alliance is the representative body for a large proportion of the business community in Tralee and the organisation is currently driving a campaign to make Tralee the Retail capital of the Southwest Region.

The Government TDs in the Kerry North Constituency, Minister Jimmy Deenihan and Deputy Arthur Spring have also been asked to lobby the Minister for Justice to prioritise Tralee when allocating new Garda resources in the summer.

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