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‘Satellite garda station’ on Wexford’s Main Street and drugs task force suggested to curb violent scenes of recent days

Calls for a ‘zero tolerance approach’ to those who are ‘terrorizing the town’.


Wexford Garda Station.

Wexford Garda Station.

Wexford Garda Station.


With concerns growing following a week of violent and unsavoury scenes in Wexford’s town centre, solutions are being sought to problems with drug use and anti-social behaviour.

Among the options being put forward are the establishment of a temporary “satellite garda station” on Wexford’s Main Street and the establishment of a dedicated multi-agency drug task force.

In the past seven days, the town has seen an assault and robbery in a supermarket car park, several syringes found discarded outside of a primary school, a man attacked with a hammer on the Main Street at 9.30 a.m. and a vicious daylight assault in the town centre as shoppers and students watched on. 

There’s also been reports of a man being slashed with a knife in recent days.

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With videos and photos from many of these incidents circulating on social media, Wexford gardaí are beginning to come in for some heavy criticism. However, resources are said to be an issue with gardaí seemingly unable to provide a constant presence on the Main Street.

Cllr Ger Carthy has put forward a novel suggestion to aid this.

"The only agencies that can deal with this problem are An Garda Síochána and Wexford County Council,” he said. “If that means establishing a satellite garda station on the Main Street to maintain a presence there, so be it.”

Although representing the Rosslare Municipal District and not the Wexford Borough, Cllr Carthy said that it was major issue for his constituents who travel into town for business, shopping and to socialise.

Many elderly people from his district, he says, are growing increasingly concerned about taking the bus into town. 

In his role with the National Ambulance Service, he would also have attended several violent scenes, noting that “this is an issue that’s been highlighted for months now”.

"We need a zero tolerance approach to these incidents on our Main Street,” he said. “We’re a town of little trouble really. We have a strong reputation to keep and we can’t allow this bad publicity due to the actions of a few people who are terrorising the town. It’s not acceptable.”

Referencing a recent meeting of the Joint Policing Committee, Cllr Carthy says he strongly doubts new Chief Supt Derek Hughes’ assertion that Wexford is adequately resourced, noting that there is a recruitment and retention issue in all of the Emergency Services currently.

Regardless, it seems that a lot of the current issues playing out on Wexford's streets are drug related.

"It’s all drugs,” one garda source said when asked about the recent spike in violence.

With this in mind, Independent councillor Leonard Kelly has called for a multi-agency drugs task force to be set up in the town as a matter of urgency.

"What I’d like to see is a drugs task force being set up,” he said. “One which is garda led with input from the council, local community groups, business owners in the town centre etc. 

"We know the only way of fixing this problem is increased resources. I’ve talked to a number of business owners in town and the violence of recent days is no great surprise to them. They see this type of thing outside their windows. But they say that what they don't see is feet on the street by the gardaí.

"I’m not blaming individual gardaí for this either. This is a government issue and we need better resources to police our towns.”

Noting another incident whereby a syringe was discovered by a parent outside of a primary school in recent days, Cllr Kelly says it’s just unacceptable.

"We cannot accept syringes in public areas and near our schools. We need to help both the users and the communities and people impacted by that drug use. Whether that be needle exchanges or drop boxes, whatever we can do to alleviate this problem.”