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Double crackdown on Galway City’s organised begging gangs


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Double crackdown on Galway City’s organised begging gangs

From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  The City Council has been urged to have staff in place to prevent illegal camping in Eyre Square during the upcoming tourist season in an effort to curb late-night begging and petty crime rackets.

Independent city councillor, Declan McDonnell, asked the Council to ensure that staff were in place to prevent a repeat of what happened during last summer’s festival season, when tents were pitched at random across the Square.

“Eyre Square is a facility for everyone to enjoy – it is one of the big attractions of our city centre, but we cannot allow what went on last summer to happen again,” said Cllr McDonnell.

Brendan McGrath, City Council Chief Executive, said that mainly Roma gangs were involved on a seasonal basis in organised begging groups operating at late-night hours.

“There is a seasonal element to this problem in that the gangs come at busy times of the year like Christmas, St Patrick’s Day, Easter and the July festivals.

“This not just an issue of stopping camping in Eyre Square – there’s also criminality involved, and we have made efforts to try and repatriate those involved,” said Mr McGrath.

He added that these organised gangs positioned people outside pubs and nightclubs where young people passing by ‘feel sorry for them’ and give them money.

Detective Chief Superintendent Shane Cummins told the Galway City Tribune that a clear distinction needed to be made between people in genuine need who had fallen on hard times and organised seasonal gangs who came to the city at different times of the year.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the April 28 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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