It has been a pretty hectic week here in Redwood this week, and I think next week is going to be equally so! All of which is really great…. there have been some lovely happenings and some not so nice ones.
One of the earliest blog posts I wrote was about being ‘Known to Gardai’. That was way back in November 2009 and described what it was like in 2003.
Well our relationship with the local Gardai has changed a lot in that time. We don’t have a local Garda anymore. (For those reading this outside of Ireland – Garda/Gardai are our local police force.)
While I joked in my previous post about feeling somewhat like a notorious criminal as we were ‘known to Gardai’, there are times now that I wish I was known.
We’ve had many changes in the almost 9 years we’ve been here… we’ve had a part-time Garda, we’ve had a Garda and his family even move into the village for a short time. Now, however, we have no police presence at all. The whole district has been divided up differently. We used to be covered from Birr which is just 10 miles away, but now we are assigned to Nenagh – over 25 miles away (and they have to cover as far as Limerick too – which is an hour away from here!).
So if anything happens around here it could be hours before we have any police call.
This was brought home to us recently when our neighbours house was broken into. Mid afternoon – a beautiful sunny afternoon – and the burglars hit. And even worse still, on Friday morning last at 9.30 am a gang of four lunatics tried to break into a neighbours house – luckily they were there so the gang scarpered. But lunatics that they were they tried 2 other houses within a quarter of a mile – again luckily people were at home.
We’ve always had a lax attitude here about locking up the house (and the car), as would all our neighbours. When you’re in and out to fields, around the farmyard, you are not going to lock the house up each and every time you go out the door. And anyway, it only increases the chances of loosing the key!
This latest burglary has really upset the neighbourhood. There are even rumours going about of local ‘bad boys’ casing houses and then informing the city gangs who come out and do the job!
The government are talking about closing even more rural/local stations. Like so many other decisions – have they thought this through at all? When there was a local garda in the area, he knew everyone, he could make informed decisions, he would have the ‘chat’ with the joyrider and keep the peace with everyone.
Now we have a regular ‘joyrider’ speeding along a narrow country road. We’ve had a couple of break-ins. Hens and ducks have been stolen. Dogs have been taken.
It really does spoil our lovely bucolic existence!
So over the next few days we will have to sit down with our neighbours and set up a ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ system. I need to figure out how to set up group texts on my phone (can do so on the computer, but hopeless when it comes to the phone).
We need to start being more vigilant about locking up house and cars.
It is such a pity it has come to this.
Can we have our local Garda back, please?