Drinkers are plaguing town

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DRINKERS who gather near the Linen House restaurant in Gilford are still causing problems in the area.

Councillor Seamus Doyle said it is hoped fencing and lighting would improve what has been a long-running problem in the area.

Sergeant Billy Stewart, addressing the most recent meeting of the DPP in Gilford, said the issue is a difficult one as the area has been a popular gathering spot for years.

“It has always been an area which has come to the fore for anti-social behaviour,” he said.

“Theose who gather include young people aged maybe 13 or 14 and people as old as 21 and 22.

“I had never seen such a wide age range gather together before I encountered this area.

“We’ve policed at it and policed at it and the situation is not as bad as it was. We are trying to get the problems resolved to the best of our ability.”

Meanwhile Councillor Glenn Barr questioned how police had only managed to report three people in the Gilford area to the council for breaching bye-laws in recent times considering, he said, that it is such a well-known issue.

Sergeant Billy Stewart said drinkers had become wise to the process by which they can be caught for brinking in public.

“We can’t refer young people to the council,” he said.

“And we can only refer others if we specifically see them drinking out of the bottle so to speak.

“The ones who hang about Gilford, if they see police coming they know not to be drinking. That’s why the numbers are so low.”