Concerns are emerging that shoppers are beginning to avoid Ennis town centre because of persistent anti-social behaviour problems in and around The Height.
The issue has been raised at a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, where it was claimed those behind the activity have even left human faeces behind the famous Daniel O’Connell statue.
Gardaí, meanwhile, say they have upped the number of patrols in the area in recent weeks.
Concern has been growing in recent months about the level of anti-social behaviour located in and around The Height in Ennis town centre.
The issue, it’s claimed, surrounds people of no fixed abode who are loitering and drinking at the Daniel O’Connell monument and intimidating passers by.
It was raised at this week’s meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, where Councillors said it was of particular concern for elderly people and school-going children.
Ennis Fine Gael Councillor Mary Howard, who is involved with the local Tidy Towns Group, says what they come across is disgusting.
Now, concern is emerging among those trading around O’Connell Square about the impact on their flow of customers.
Patrick Bourke operates a menswear shop at the top of Parnell Street, just off The Height and while not directly effected, he has noticed a difference since this behaviour started.
He says it’s not just contained to that area either and it’s having a major impact.
Ennis Gardaí say they are aware of the issue and it’s not one that emerged overnight.
Superintendent Brendan McDonagh says those who are loitering in The Height are the same people who caused previous issues at Ennis Cathedral and at Glór.
But he’s moved to reassure people that they’re always on hand to help where they can, even though it will take a multi-agency approach to stomp out:
Those who are concerned can contact Ennis Garda Station on 065 684 8100.