Tommy Reillly, a Fianna Fáil councillor hit the headlines in June 2017 when himself and his son, Ciaran, were viciously assaulted outside a shop they owned at the time, and he claims things have got worse rather than better.
He revealed, ‘ It’s time to send in the soldiers, I don’t blame the guards who are here the problem is there are not enough of them.
‘I remember when there was a Paddywagon patrolling the streets of Navan at weekends, along with two guards in a squad cars and maybe four on the beat, now there are quite often just three cops on duty.
‘A couple of months ago there was a man stabbed to death in the town and there were only three guards working, there was another very serious assault that night and members had to be brought in from elsewhere to deal with that.
‘A shopkeeper was badly assaulted recently and I know of two instances where elderly couples were followed home to rural villages from Navan post office after collecting their pensions and on one of those occasions a handbag with a few weeks pension money in it was taken from a car.
‘They are targeting pensioners who travel in maybe once a month to collect their money, I know the guards regularly watch CCTV from the post office and see cars being followed, there are just not enough guards to do anything about it.
‘They actively target the older generation of people who withdraw money from ATM’s,I’m only touching on the surface of what is going on not exaggerating it.
‘Compared to other towns Navan is massively undermanned, Portlaoise and Mullingar have half Navan’s population and twice as many. guards
‘It is six years ago in June since my son and I were attacked and the yobs charged with it used legal aid to go to the High Court and get bail.
‘I’m adamant the army have to be brought in as a deterrent I’m convinced a visible army presence would allow us to take our town back from the thugs who have taken it over.
‘We are sick and tired asking for more guards and not getting them it is time to take the next step.’