Street drinking ‘ruining one of Ireland’s best towns’, claims councillor
21st May 2022
A Killarney councillor has said that drinking on the street is ‘ruining’ the town and will stop tourists from coming.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast on Friday, Independent Councillor Donal Grady — who previously served as Mayor of Killarney from 2010-to 2011 — said that outdoor drinking, which became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, leads to drunk and disorderly behaviour.
‘There’s open drinking in the streets, and that can lead to disorder,’ Councillor Grady told Ciara Kelly on Friday. ‘That’s making it hard to police it. We certainly need extra gardaí in Kerry to keep law and order.’
Ciara Kelly pointed out that by-laws introduced during COVID-19 restrictions allowed for the sale of alcohol outside a pub’s premises and more policing should be enforcing a behavioural standard in the town’.
‘That’s going to be the case if something isn’t done regarding drinking on the streets of Killarney,’ Mr Grady said. ‘We did have a by-law stating you can’t drink on the streets. When you’re selling people drink outside the premises, you’re illegally selling them drink on the streets.’
When asked if the problem came down to tourists or locals in the area that are drinking heavily in the streets, Mr Grady said: ‘I have no problem with the locals. The tourists are coming in and watching the carry-on on the streets.’
When asked to clarify if the comment meant that tourists were to blame, Mr Grady said ‘the problem is drinking in Killarney, and that’s why my motion states to look for extra gardaí — not to look for extra publicans.
‘I looked for extra gardaí to try and keep controlling Killarney and keep Killarney a safe place that you want to enjoy.