East Meath Labour councillor, Elaine McGinty, has claimed that calls from local residents for the reopening on a full time basis of Laytown Garda station do not go far enough.
After a number of incidents both on and close to Bettystown beach which in the first instance saw two feuding families from the travelling community clash with each other and then saw two local teens viciously attacked by a number of youngsters from nearby Drogheda, thousands of locals attended a rally on Bettystown beach last Saturday calling for the Laytown station to be re opened.
McGinty however has issued an even more drastic plea to stand in, justice minister Heather Humphries.
She told Meath Live, ‘ The whole coastal area and that part of the county that is in Drogheda needs a purpose built Garda station, the one in Laytown is too small to serve the needs of the community.
‘I was involved in the compiling of the Guerin report centred around the Drogheda drug feud but concentrating on the wider needs of the local communities and as part of that, I have contacted the minister’s office requesting that a new station be put in place.
‘But that is just part of a wider issue, the beach, for example, is the only recreational space available to people in Laytown/Beettystown/ Mornington, there is no large park there is really nothing of any substance apart from the beach and for that the Council has to look at itself.
‘Perhaps the infrastructure that is there was adequate when it was first put in place but with the massive population explosion that is no longer the case
‘The local GAA club, St Colmcilles has no space for extra pitches, things like that need to be looked at alongside an improvement in policing.
‘Resources need to be improved all round and both the Garda authorities and the council need to be proactive on this not reactive.
‘A very simple thing for example, at the moment there is one beach warden to serve the whole area I would estimate there should be at least four, it wouldn’t solve the problem of violence but it would act as a further deterrent to anti social behaviour.
‘As a community, the people of East Meath are fairly relaxed and easy going so when so many of them take to the beach in protest those who need to listen, and I include us councillors in that, better do so.
‘My message is clear we don’t need talk we need a station and a proper one and we need it as a matter of some urgency.’