ON STANDBY: Killarney Gardai are ready to help the community during the current health crisis.

By Sean Moriarty

Killarney Gardai have adjusted shift patterns and are taking other measures in an effort to confront the COVID-19 crisis.

Superintendent Flor Murphy this week said he and his colleagues have a range of measures in place and have a continuity plan set up should a member of the Force become infected by the virus.

Garda efforts will be ramped up over the coming days as other services like the HSE come under increased strain.
Local gardai are also on hand to help the elderly and more vulnerable in society.

“Our role is to reassure the community,” Supt. Murphy told the Killarney Advertiser. “Our priority is public safety.”

The role of gardai in the community could change in the coming weeks. On Tuesday night Taoiseach Leo Varadkar warned that older and ill members of our community may to have to “cocooned” for months after the initial threats have passed. If this is the case, the gardai will have to assist in delivering much-needed supplies to cut-off households.

“We will optimise our resources, our priority will be to support other agencies should the need arise,” he added.

The Superintendent warned that opportunistic criminals would not be allowed to create civil unrest in the county and that even if resources are deployed elsewhere they will still be able to deal with day-to-day issues.

There are concerns in bigger centres of population that a long-term shut down could lead to looting and other criminal acts.

“I can’t see it being an issue in Killarney,” he added. “The people of the town are respectful and law-abiding. Public safety is our priority and we don’t expect any mass disorder and looting.”

He encouraged people to get out and use the National Park – while observing correct social distancing measures.

“We are very lucky here, we have the parks and the mountains on our doorsteps and other towns don’t have that. It is a sad time for everyone but we must pull through this,” he added.

Killarney Garda Station can be contacted on 064 6631222 and the Garda Confidential Line is 1800-666-111.