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A “proactive approach” will be taken by Gardaí when it comes to dealing with a predicted ‘staycation surge’ in Co Clare this summer.

An inspector within the Clare Garda Division has been tasked with the overall planning of how An Garda Síochána will deal with a predicted influx in visitors to the county with a particular focus on key attractions.

Corofin representative, Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) commended the efforts of Gardaí during the lockdown particularly their “patience and perseverance” which he believed “engendered confidence in all of us as citizens”.

Speaking at Monday’s Clare Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting, Cllr Killeen queried what plans Gardaí had in place ahead of staycations in North, West and East Clare this summer. He felt a “clampdown on wild camping” was required. Detail on the plans to deal with traffic pinch-points and the various beaches dotted around West and North Clare was also requested.

“We had operations in place for staycations, we will take a proactive approach for hotspots where incidents occurred last year,” Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran replied. He outlined that traffic management would form a large part of their planning.

Chief Supt Colleran praised the Clare public for their co-operation to date. Of the fixed penalty notices dished out for persons that breached COVID-19 restrictions, he commented “it is to everyone’s credit that it wasn’t higher”.

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