The Mayor of Letterkenny-Milford Cllr Donal ‘Mandy’ Kelly has called for a workshop to find solutions to street begging issues in Letterkenny town centre.
As the Christmas shopping period begins, Cllr Kelly is calling on the local authority, gardaí and support agencies to investigate claims of ‘fraudsters’ begging on the street and intimidating shoppers.
Cllr Kelly has recently raised his concerns over the legitimacy of some people begging in Letterkenny. He told the Letterkenny-Milford MD last week that he received reports of people sleeping rough in doorways and of people being bused into the town in the mornings to beg on main street, before being collected in the evenings.
Cllr Kelly told the council that if the people in question are part of “fraud gangs” they should be stopped, but if people are genuinely struggling, they should be helped.
“We need to approach these people and see what we can do for them,” Cllr Kelly said.
“If it is legit we need to be getting shelter for these people either through the Simon Community or Saint Vincent de Paul.”
Cllr Kelly confirmed that a multi-agency workshop will soon be held on the matter, which will include the housing agency, gardaí, social welfare officers and possibly the north west Simon Community.
“I am happy to see, since highlighting the issue, that some progress has been made in recent days. Hopefully we will have a successful meeting and get this resolved before the Christmas season,” Cllr Kelly told Donegal Daily.