“Worrying level” of assaults in Letterkenny

FRESH concerns have been raised about the absence of resources to tackle the rising frequency of assaults in Letterkenny.

Chairman of Donegal Joint Policing Committee (JPC) Councillor Gerry McMonagle said Letterkenny has seen a “worrying level” of assaults in recent times.

He was speaking to the Donegal News after two male youths were treated in Letterkenny University Hospital for injuries they sustained in two separate assaults in the town this week. Their injuries were not life-threatening.


The latest incidents come as new figures by the Irish Independent reveal Letterkenny Garda Station recorded 1,317 crimes last year – the highest in the county. Garda stations across Donegal recorded 4,443 crimes in 2021.

On Monday, a male youth was walking in the area of Ard Ban, Long Lane, at 6pm with a female when he was approached by a couple of males and was assaulted by them.

Meanwhile, another male youth was attacked by another male youth in the Market Square area of Letterkenny on Wednesday, October 26, between 7.30pm and 7.50pm.

The injured youth fled into a shop across the road and was followed by a couple more youths, one of whom assaulted him again.

Gardai are appealing for anyone who was in the area of Market Square and who may have witnessed the incident to contact them in Letterkenny.

Taxi drivers in the area who had a dash cam are being urged to make their footage available to gardai.

Anyone who was in either area at the time and who witnessed anything that can help gardai with their investigation is urged to contact Letterkenny Garda Station on (074) 9167100. The Garda Confidential Line is 1800 666 111.


Speaking to the Donegal News, Cllr McMonagle said he is deeply concerned about the all-too-often number of assaults.

“I have spoken to gardaí about this and there have been a number of very serious assaults, some reported and some not. We have seen the level of violence in these assaults in videos that have been circulated on social media and online. Many victims have needed emergency treatment.”

Cllr McMonagle said those responsible for such crimes need to be dealt with appropriately by the courts. He said he does not see, at present, any deterrent.

“People responsible for such attacks need to be brought before the courts. I don’t think there is much of a deterrent. The wrong message is being sent out. It is three years some times before these cases come to court and when they do, the sentence does not fit the crime. I was reading a number of newspapers over the weekend which all featured stories of assaults. It is happening on an all too often scale out there.”

Cllr McMonagle said he believed it was time for serious consideration to be again given to town wardens or other initiatives to help keep people safe.

“Town wardens for the town park was something that was mooted for previously but was not brought to fruition. We see the same initiative work so well in Derry through community safety wardens. While they don’t get involved in a situation, they alert the police. They are another set of eyes which can only be a good thing.”

Cllr McMonagle said the analysis of reported crimes to garda stations in the country by the Irish Independent were “alarming”.

The figures showed Buncrana recorded the second highest number of crimes out of the 36 garda stations in Donegal (336), followed by Ballybofey with 283, Carndonagh with 240 and Bundoran (230).

In Mountcharles, crime levels more than doubled on pre-Covid levels, while Cardonagh also saw a 52 per cent rise in crime rate. Dungloe Garda Station was at the lower end of the table, where a significant reduction in crime (57 per cent) was recorded.

Letterkenny Garda Station recorded a drop of 37 per cent over the last three years. Fraud was the most reported crime in 70 stations across the country, including Glenties.

“We have been out of lockdown for quite a while now. The figures are alarming,” added Cllr McMonagle.

“We have seen increase in assaults in Letterkenny and other towns. Public order is on the increase generally, and yet we don’t have the resources to adequately deal with these problems.”

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