IT’S our national holiday – but there will always be those who turn into a nuisance on St Patrick’s Day.
And that’s why every available Garda will be on duty in the county today to oversee a peaceful celebration of the Patron Saint.
Large crowds are expected in most towns today for parades from Buncrana and Moville in the north of the county – right through to Bundoran and Ballyshannon in the south.
A Garda spokesperson told donegaldaily.com: “We would ask people to co-operate with parade stewards and Gardai to make St Patrick’s Day an enjoyable day out for all families.
“We would be expecting large crowds particularly for the parades in most towns, especially if the weather holds up.
“We would urge people to take care on the roads, show some patience, avoid speed and never ever to drink and drive.”
We understand that random breath-testing of drivers will take place across the county today – with checkpoints on some routes.
The Road Safety Authority and the AA has also urged caution to motorists.
An RSA spokesman said: “It’s been a bad start to the year from a road safety point of view. If we persist in driving dangerously we could be faced with three scenarios on our journey.
“They are, meeting a paramedic, meeting a priest or meeting a Garda. For everyone’s sake I hope it is a Garda, because he or she might just have saved a life, maybe your own.”
Gardai also urged people to look after their property on St Patrick’s Day.
The spokesman added: “St Patrick’s Day should be an enjoyable and fun day for everyone. Unfortunately, a small minority might see it as an opportunity to commit crime. Gardaí would ask people to limit those opportunities by taking some simple steps to protect themselves and their property.”
Gardai issued the following advice:
People should be conscious of their personal safety and belongings in large crowds.
Keep a close eye on children and make sure they don’t wander off,
Do not display obvious valuables on your person.
Be aware of pick pockets and take heed of those standing around you.
Park your car in a well lit area and ensure it is locked and secure.
Do not leave valuables on display in parked cars.
Consume alcohol responsibly and observe by-laws about the non-consumption of alcohol in public places
If you see a crime being committed, please notify Gardaí immediately.