Garda plan to deal with increase in summer visitors to North Kerry

A garda plan to deal with the increased population in North Kerry during the summer gets underway this bank holiday weekend. The Listowel Garda District has put in place a policing strategy to respond to the increased numbers holidaying in Ballybunion and other parts of North Kerry. Garda Superintendent Dan Keane says resources have been organised within the district to allow more gardaí operate in Ballybunion, Ballyheigue and Ballyduff during the summer months as the need arises. Garda Van - Side Garda Superintendent Dan Keane says during the summer, populations in Ballybunion, Ballyheigue and Ballyduff can more than double. He says there’s an obvious increase on warm, sunny days and there’s also a need for an increased garda presence when there’s a rise in numbers socialising at night. He says he’s seeking more gardaí and he and Chief Superintendent Dave Sheahan have been discussing this. Superintendent Keane says An Garda Síochána is also seeking to increase numbers in other parts of the country and this can only be solved by an increase in graduates from the Garda college. There are 45 officers in the Listowel Garda District. Due to a number of factors, including staff on maternity leave, there are three gardaí in Ballybunion compared to six over a year ago. Superintendent Keane says five years ago, Ballybunion, Ballyheigue and Ballyduff each had a sergeant. Now, only Ballybunion has a sergeant. According to the superintendent, the number of gardaí for these three communities has fallen by 50% in five years.