Wednesday 22 May 2019

Residents fear an Easter invasion

Margaret Roddy

Residents in Carlingford are living in fear that crowds of drunken revellers will descend on the village over the Easter bank holiday weekend as has happened in recent years.

And following the tragic deaths of three visitors to the village over the St Patrick's weekend, concerns have been raised over what steps are being taken to ensure that this Easter bank holiday passes without incident.

As it emerged over the weekend that at least one Newry coach operator was advertising bus tours to Carlingford for Easter, local councillors highlighted the fears of local residents at Monday's meeting of Louth County Council.

Cllr Antoin Watters noted that the Easter bank holiday weekend in Carlingford can be 'a very difficult time.'

He asked if transport operators in the north had been informed of the new bye-laws prohibiting drinking in public which are now in place in Carlingford and queried what steps had been taken to advertise the new bye-laws.

There was, he continued 'an urgent need for the street signs to be up now that the tourism season hits full throttle.'

He understood that the signs were to have been erected before Easter and he was worried that they were running out of time to do so.

He also asked if Louth County Council and Newry, Mourne and Down Council would be highlighting the ban on public drinking on their social media accounts.

He was backed by Cllr Peter Savage who said that there is 'great concern over potential problems' in the village over the coming weekend.

'A lot of people are living in fear and trepidation of the behaviour which goes on on Easter Monday,' he said. 'Anything could happen, there's fears of injury or worse.'

He wondered if temporary signs could be erected and asked if the Council could notify the Gardai that they would need additional people in the village to cope with the bus loads arriving.

Director of Services Mr Paddy Donnelly said that a plan was in place in co-operation with the Gardai and that temporary signs indicating that the fines for drinking in public had already been erected.

The Argus