Ferris Calls On Critics Of Purple Flag Initiative To Justify Objections

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Cllr Toireasa Ferris.

THE Sinn Féin councillor who initially proposed Tralee make an application for Purple Flag status, has criticised opponents of the process.

The judges arrive tomorrow to assess the town for Purple Flag status, which is a positive initiative that indicates an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night in a town.

Purple Flag has been criticised by the Southern Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force, which is responsible for implementing the national drug strategy in Kerry, who said the focus should be on reducing numbers on the streets in the early hours of the morning when anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related violence are most likely to occur.

Cllr Toireasa Ferris, has called on them to justify such a contradictory position.

“The purple flag is the gold standard for any town wishing to increase footfall and business after 5pm in the evening. Awardees must meet 30 different criteria, including minimum thresholds of decreasing crime statistics, appropriate transport, a vibrant appeal, a stimulating destination and a strong partnership. This can only be a positive development, I believe this town can and should achieve this,” she said.

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“Much of the objection is based on the presumption that the awarding of the flag to Tralee will increase drinking and resultant behaviour in Tralee. That is the opposite to the objective of the scheme and the results experienced in other towns, in fact crime rates in towns and cities who have achieved a purple flag, including Killarney and Galway city, have seen crime statistics during 5pm and 5am reduce by 60%,” she continued.

“The focus of those involved in driving this project is to ensure Tralee has far more to offer after 5pm than what it currently does, i.e. later opening of shops and cafes, bars and licensed restaurants are currently some of the only businesses open at night.

“Furthermore if the much needed increased footfall in the town were to result in an increase in alcohol consumption and abuse as contended, then this would inevitably result in an increase in public order offences at best and would mean the town would not meet the criteria for renewal of the flag.”

The experience of other towns and villages strongly refutes the arguments of those objecting.

In fact the intention of those, like me, driving this campaign is no different to those involved in the organisations objecting, to create a vibrant night business in Tralee that is varied and not exclusive to the consumption of alcohol. I call on the objectors to reconsider their position,” said Cllr Ferris.

The judges arrive to assess the town between 5pm and 5am on Friday. They will give their decision in November. If successful, Tralee will become the 23rd town/city in Ireland to be awarded the flag.

One Comment

  1. Matty O'Leary says:

    The Southern Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force are totally correct.

    Cllr Toireasa Ferris what planet are you on or should I say what town do you live in?

    Do you really think Tralee in between the hours of 5pm and 5am fulfils “the gold standard” requirement for a Purple flag status? If so, I feel Cllr Toireasa Ferris is out of touch with Tralee towns night time urban society between those dark hours and she has started to believe her own spin for her own political agenda.

    I feel if Tralee fails, Tralee will be negatively highlighted and if Tralee achieves a Purple flag win, the Tralee award will only bring disrepute to the scheme.

    As a native of Tralee who genuinely cares for the town and its population, I hope one day Tralee gets a Purple flay. But, only when the town really achieves and deserves it and every Tralee citizen and visitor feels the actual benefits that the scheme entails.

    The reality of Tralee towns “gold standard” news is Tralee does not deserve a Purple flag? No, not now anyway and if Cllr Toireasa Ferris disagrees with me too? I suggest she just read the following recent anti-social news for herself concerning the town of Tralee.

    1. 22nd May 2017, Gardaí in Tralee are investigating unprovoked assault over the weekend:

    2. April 24 2017, Gardaí appeal for witnesses after woman sexually assaulted in Tralee:

    3. 13th March 2017, Man in his 30’s seriously injured following assault outside Tralee student apartments:

    4. February 25 2017, Attempted sex attack on young Tralee woman:

    5. 6th March 2017, Gardaí appeal for witnesses to car vandalism incident in Tralee:

    6. January 3, 2017, Gardaí Investigate Criminal Damage Incident In Tralee:

    7. Mon, Dec 5, 2016, Christmas crib in Tralee vandalised, figures smashed:

    8. April 10, 2017, Vandals Cause Damage To Car In Tralee: