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“Organised begging” is being conducted in Clare’s county town.

“Issues have arisen and one of them I’m getting a lot is the organised begging, they seem to have got a pass recently because begging seems to be permitted. A black Mercedes drops off some of these people and tourists are targeted,” Cllr Johnny Flynn told Tuesday’s meeting of the Ennis Municipal District as he sought the reinstatement of a sub-committee in the Clare JPC specifically for Ennis.

Cllr Flynn noted that Parnell St is now becoming home to “congregation of addicts”. The Fine Gael representative also warned that female staff in shopping centres have become aware of “organised robbing. Older members of a gang identify what they want stolen and the younger members have to go get them”. He added, “Repeat offenders have total disregard for their society, bail conditions should prevent them from being near retail centres as they are picking and begging for their addiction”.

Chief Superintendent, Michael Gubbins who was present at the meeting in response told Cllr Flynn that the registration number of the black Mercedes would be very useful to Gardaí. “Organised begging goes back to the people drinking at the Church, when the case arises they are summoned”.

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Regarding bail conditions, Gubbins confirmed he would relay the suggestion to their working group however he was opposed to a sub-committee of the joint policing committee being re-established. “From what I understand Clare County Council and the JPC would cover everything concerned”.

Flynn’s Fine Gael colleague, Cllr Mary Howard who serves as Chairperson of the JPC dismissed the need for a sub grouping. “The JPC is countywide and four of us from this Chamber sit on it. It would be another layer of bureaucracy”.

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