Businesspeople in the Finn Valley area of Donegal are becoming increasingly apprehensive over criminal gangs who escape over the border, according to a local councillor.
Cllr Patrick McGowan has today condemned the attempted burglary of Topline McCrearys hardware store in Killygordon on Monday morning. It is believed that two men broke into the property at approx 4.20am by cutting through fencing before using a truck from the yard as a battering ram to crash into the building.
A significant amount of criminal damage has been caused, while it is not known if the men made away with any goods or money. The burglars made a quick escape across the border at Castlederg in a small dark-coloured car.
Garda investigators are appealing for information from the public who may have been in the area this morning or witnessed the car on the road.
Cllr Patrick McGowan said, in light of this event, it is a coincidence that he and other Stranorlar councillors had scheduled a meeting with garda officials today to discuss local crime.
Councillors have called on Inspector Harrison and Superintendent Finan to allocate more Gardai to the Ballybofey Garda Station as businesspeople are fearful of further break-ins.
Cllr McGowan said: “We want to see more active policing along the border. Local businesses have stopped reporting petty crime because they think it’s a waste of time. There is a worry along the border about this more serious crime.
“I’ve been told businesses in Castlefinn, Liscooley, Killygordon and Ballybofey do not have full confidence in policing, they know the gardai on the ground are doing their best, but the policing at the border has decreased.”
Cllr McGowan related the break-in at Topline McCrearys Killygordan to the urgent need for border policing, saying that the well-known family business is an important part of the community.
“We have to bear in mind that it’s only a few months ago that the Bradley Post Office at the Crossroads was burgled by a gang who gained entry through the roof.
“The border gives criminals an opportunity that wouldn’t be there in the rest of the 26 counties. While the PSNI and Gardai work closely together, nevertheless as an opportunist, the border limits the chase. All too often criminals make for the border and there are not enough guards here at any one time.
“We asked the Superintendent and Inspector to allocate more gardai to be stationed at the Ballybofey and Stranorlar barracks. We need to see Ballybofey Garda Station open more often.”
Anyone who has information relating to last night’s incident in Killygordon is asked to call Letterkenny Garda Station on 074 91 67100 / Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111.Tags: