Councillor Arthur Gibbons has called for a greater Garda presence in Sligo town following reports that a woman was robbed at knifepoint at around 6pm at Tubbergall Lane.
During the attack, which has been described as “vicious” a knife was reportedly held to the woman’s throat and she was thrown to the ground, kicked, and robbed of money.
Her attacker is reported to have made his getaway on a bicycle.
Speaking on Ocean FM, Cllr. Gibbons said he has raised the issue of a lack of Garda presence in the Sligo town area on several occasions previously.
He says there has been “a lot of bad attention” drawn to the area particularly in the last 12 months.
While Gibbons made clear that his comments were in no way intended to be critical of An Garda Siochana, he highlighted what he said was a noticeable lack of Garda presence in the area.
‘Our Gardaí are second to none but we don’t have enough of them’, he said.
He said that he himself feels “wary” when visiting the town at night, and that ‘the lack of seeing guards’ on the beat is having a “detrimental” effect on the town.
He continued that Gardaí in the area are currently “overstretched”.
He described the incident involving the woman as a “savage attack” while wishing the victim, who is reportedly severely shaken and suffering from bruising, a speedy recovery and encouraging her not to let her experience “hamper her” from going anywhere in the future.
While denying that migrants were responsible for the alleged increases in crime, he said that the recent large influxes into the country have caused the Garda resources to be over stretched as there are not enough officers to adequately police the increasing population.
“I don’t think that’s been taken into consideration”, he said adding “If we had extra Gardaí on the beat in Sligo it would resolve an awful lot of that problem”.
He said “people with bad intentions” would be discouraged of there was an increased number of Gardaí patrolling the town.
He said that if it was known that there was a strong presence of uniformed Gardaí in the town centre the chances of something like the knife attack happening “would be a lot less”.