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25 Jun 2022

'Offaly Safe Day' survey to be taken in three Offaly towns

O'CONNOR SQUARE

The 'Offaly Safe Day' event starts at 11am on Friday in O'Connor Square in Tullamore

Members of the public are being asked to share their views on improving safety from risk of gender based harassment and violence in public amenities such as parks, playgrounds and greenways of Offaly.

This is part of the work of new subgroup of Offaly Joint Policing Committee looking at gender based violence and harassment in public amenities in the county.

On this Friday, June 24, councillors from each of the districts of Birr, Edenderry and Tullamore will lead town walkabouts as part of ‘Offaly Safe Day’ to hear people’s perceptions on the scale of the problem of gender harassment and violence to capture local issues of relevance which may be contributing to a feeling of or the reality of being unsafe from gender based harassment.

The walkabouts will look at site specific issues such as proximity to entry and exits points along walkways, the importance of clear lines of vision, and placement of public lighting. 

Tullamore walkabout begins at 11am from O’Connor Square, led by Cllr Neil Feighery.

Edenderry walkabout begins at 11am outside Edenderry Municipal District Office Building, led by Cllr Mark Hackett.

Birr walkabout begins at 11am from Emmet Square, Birr, led by Cllr Clare Claffey.

The Chair of the Subgroup, Cllr Mark Hackett said “we are inviting everyone in Offaly to take part in Offaly Safe Day, including those working in the areas of gender-based violence services, business organisations, community groups and members of the public. The easiest way is to complete the online survey but even better if you can join your local walkabout. We especially want to welcome you if you are a woman, a girl or any gender at risk of gender based violence. “

Cllr Hackett added “while it is a coincidence that the walkabouts are occurring during Pride Month, members of the LGBTI+ community are very welcome, as are members of the Travelling Community, those who have experienced violence or stalking by an ex intimate partner and members of all minority groups. Research suggests that some groups experience higher rates of gender based violence and harassment and we want that experience reflected in our findings so we can make recommendations to improve it. ”

Inspector Oliver Baker said “keeping people safe is the mission of An Garda Siochana.  Listening to the ever evolving needs and demands of our community is critical to ensuring an effective and efficient policing service is delivered.  Understanding the needs of our community will result in sustainable solutions to community safety concerns.”

The recommendations, planned to be ready later this year, will be presented to An Garda Síochána and Offaly County Council to be considered when planning future public space service delivery and design.

Further details regarding Offaly Safety Day are available from 

https://www.offaly.ie/offalysafetyday

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