Local councillors are calling on gardaí to persist in their pursuit of the person or people who carried out an arson attack on a local authority house in South Kilkenny earlier this year, and they insist that such acts will not be tolerated in County Kilkenny.
“I want to sent out the message clearly that Kilkenny is a safe place to live and that people in Kilkenny do not agree with any form of racist attack on anybody,” Cllr Michael O’Brien (Lab) said at a meeting of the County Council’s joint policing committee last week.
He was referring to an arson attack in March on a house that had been allocated to a Traveller family in Kilmacow, after the council has spent over €100,000 refurbishing the house.
Chief Supt Mick McGarry said gardaí were “monitoring the situation very carefully” following this “appalling act.” He said gardaí were “still pursuing it and following a few lines of inquiry” and that significant resources had been put into investigating the matter.
Asked how long An Garda Síochána would continue its investigation, he said: “Every case remains open until we have made somebody amenable to justice.”
“While it is a few months old, it is still early days as far as we are concerned,” he said.
“This was an open attack on people. It was very very low,” Deputy Ann Phelan (Lab). “I think we should all stand up and be accountable about this. This is basically a human rights issue and we can’t allow it to fester.”
“People are entitled to feel safe in their own home,” agreed Cllr Paul Cuddihy (FG), adding that the more than €100,000 in damage “is not money that comes by easily.”
“It is certainly not reflective of the community ethos in Kilmacow,” Cllr Tomas Breathnach (Lab) said of the attack.