A packed hall showed how Durrow residents felt about a spate of recent break-in’s around the area.
The meeting was called to launch a new Community Alert Scheme in the area, to fight back against the growing number of burglaries.
At the meeting Superintendent John Moloney, Sgt Graham Kavanagh, Sgt Padraig Farrelly, Crime Prevention Officer and Noel McCarthy from Muintir na Tire all spoke on the subject.
Attendees were informed of the growing problem of travelling gangs coming to the area. There is a pattern of break-in’s by these gangs, who are from Dublin, on weekday mornings.
To this end Gardai are also fighting back, as two patrol cars were sent out in recent weeks in the Durrow and Killeigh areas with the specific aim of patrolling the areas during these times.
Gardai said the problem is unfortunately widespread across the county with areas such as Rhode and Clonbullogue also being targeted. The north of the county seems to be suffering even more so than the south.
Cathaoirleach of the committee Ray O’Brien told the Offaly Express that there had been a lot of break-in’s around the area recently, some of which took place at night while children were in bed.
“We have become an official community alert area. We need to raise money for signs. We want to let people know were are here and we are keeping an eye,” said Mr O’Brien.
He added that the group also planned to set up a text alert system among residents in the area.
Support for the venture was reflected in the huge numbers that turned up to event.
Chairperson of the Tullamore Area Committee, Cllr Sinead Dooley congratulated the community of Durrow on the re-launch of their Community Alert.
Cllr Dooley said, “Initiatives such as this is very important in any area, but unfortunately it is now vital in rural communities to operate schemes such as this as burglaries are on the increase, particularly since the downturn in the economy. There have been a number of instances of break-ins recently and Gardai have made a number of arrests.
“I would urge residents to contact their committee to lend their support and in particular I would encourage older residents in the area to avail of the various security measures which are available free of charge to them through their committee.”