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South Mayo towns approve alcohol-consumption bye-laws

South Mayo towns approve alcohol consumption bye-laws

Austin Garvin

LAST week’s meeting of the Claremorris Electoral Area committee made a landmark decision in unanimously approving the making of bye-laws in relation to regulation and control of the consumption of intoxicating liquor in public places in the towns of Claremorris and Ballinrobe.
Councillors had repeatedly identified the problems encountered in both towns in the past in relation to the consumption and control of intoxicating liquor in public places.
Mr Padraig Flanagan, Senior Executive Engineer with Mayo County Council, told the meeting that the council had agreed terms in relation to the bye-laws, and it was now a matter of going before a full meeting of the Council to approve them.
Cllr Michael Burke said this was an important step forward in addressing the problem.  He felt it would be welcomed by a lot of people in society and should be a help to the Gardaí in relation to controlling anti-social behaviour in the towns.
Cllr Tom Connolly, said there were serious problems in Claremorris, particularly in relation to public drinking close to the GAA grounds, the tennis courts, and other areas. He said it was costing the council a lot of money cleaning up after after drinking parties in these areas.
However, Cllr Patsy O’Brien, felt the bye-laws were not worth the paper they were written on without proper enforcement.
“It is clear to me that the utmost help of the Gardaí is required in implementing these bye-laws. They warrant our support, and we have given that here today, but it is up to the Gardaí to enforce them,” he said.
Cllr Richard Finn, said this was a historic move for both towns but also warned that decreasing numbers among Garda ranks meant implementing the new bye-laws would be difficult. He said it was also important these laws wouldn’t be interpreted as ‘repressive legislation’.
Cllr Damien Ryan felt common sense would have to be used when implementing the new laws while Cllr John Cribbin also spoke in favour of the bye-laws.

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