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Gardai urge shoppers to beware of car park thefts this Christmas

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TODAY’S the day when shoppers swing into action to cross off essential items on that festive list, with December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, having long become a traditional shopping day in Ireland. And Gardaí in Kerry are taking the opportunity to warn shoppers to be vigilant of car park theft in retail car parks today and this month.

Issuing the warning for “Retail Safety Day” today, they report new figures which show 50 car park thefts taking place each month.

The figures, compiled by the Garda Analysis Service to launch Retail Safety Day, show some €400,000 worth of goods was stolen from Irish shoppers’ cars last year.
Incidents are most common on Tuesdays and Fridays between 12 noon and 6pm, with incidents rising in December. The average value taken per theft was €600, while the most commonly taken items are cash, electronics, tools and handbags.

Launched to coincide with the start of the busy festive shopping period, Retail Safety Day urges members of the public to engage in safe shopping and parking in order to avoid becoming a victim of crime, whilst also improving their personal security.

Sergeant Kelvin Courtney of the Garda Bureau of Community Engagement stated: “Customers should be wary while shopping. Always park in well-lit and secure areas. When you leave your car, lock all doors and windows and double check to make sure. Don’t leave property or cash on view, take it with you. Report all thefts and suspicious activities to staff or Gardaí.

“We strongly encourage shoppers to engage in safe parking as over 50 incidents of theft from vehicles at retail car parks occur every month. With an average loss of €600 per incident, many of these thefts are avoidable. Following some of these simple steps will make sure your Christmas doesn’t get spoiled by theft,” said Sergeant Courtney.

“There are also over 100 thefts from customers in shops every month. Handbags are being targeted when left in trolleys or hanging on buggies. The handbag itself isn’t always the item that is taken, sometimes objects within the handbag are targeted too and often they are not immediately noticed missing by the owner. Mobile phones are the most commonly stolen object.”

Retail Safety Day also aims to raise awareness amongst retailers on ways to prevent business losses from criminal activity. Shoplifting adds 3% to the price of products.

The Garda Analysis Service also said that shoplifting at Christmas time last year cost retailers €55 million, while the overall loss in 2015 was €255 million. However, thefts from shops have decreased by 2.7% this year so far, according to the CSO.

The busiest time for thefts from shops are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with almost two thirds occurring between 12pm and 6pm.

Sergeant Courtney added: “It’s important for retailers to be reminded that thefts from shops tend to increase from mid November until Christmas.

“The four main items stolen from retailers are groceries, alcohol, clothing and cosmetics. It is noticeable that thefts from clothes stores increase sharply just before Christmas and we also see a considerable increase of thefts from pharmacies, largely involving cosmetic thefts, throughout November and December.

“Retailers should make it difficult for thieves by improving security around the peak times of these thefts. Two thirds of all theft from shops happens between 12pm and 6pm, with Thursday, Friday and Saturday seeing the most thefts. Employing more staff at these times, training staff on retail security, displaying high value products away from entrance doors or behind security cabinets, installing and maintaining CCTV systems and ensuring cameras are not blocked by sale signs are just some of the ways retailers can improve their security.”

Local Garda clinics will be held throughout the country on December advising the public on their personal safety at this festive time. Meanwhile, An Garda Síochána produced safety information packs for both customers and retailers, both of which are available to download from the Garda website.

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Sadness at death of much loved Killarney man

The town was saddened to learn of the death of Brendan Joy who passed away peacefully on Tuesday at his home in the loving care of his family. Brendan (88), […]

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The town was saddened to learn of the death of Brendan Joy who passed away peacefully on Tuesday at his home in the loving care of his family.

Brendan (88), from Muckross and formerly of Plunkett Street, who worked in the International Hotel and as a Jarvey, was laid to rest yesterday (Thursday) in Aghadoe Cemetery following Requiem Mass in St Mary’s Cathedral.

Brendan was predeceased by his beloved wife Mairéad and baby daughter Maura, his brothers John, Jerry, Pat, Willie and sister Nancy.

He’ll be sadly missed by his daughter Breda, sons Liam, Michael, Brendan, Martin, Pat and Andrew, daughters-in-law Margaret, Eileen, Norma and Helena, his grandchildren Brendan, Mairéad, Charlie, Claire, James, Kevin, Orla, Maurice and Maura, sister Mary Sie (London), brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and many great friends.

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Local activities this weekend for National Heritage Week

A number of events will take place in Killarney this weekend as part National Heritage Week 2022 which runs until this Sunday. This year’s theme is biodiversity and sustainability. Tomorrow […]

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A number of events will take place in Killarney this weekend as part National Heritage Week 2022 which runs until this Sunday.

This year’s theme is biodiversity and sustainability. Tomorrow (Saturday) the Life in the Bogs – Family Funday in Cronin’s Yard, Beaufort, runs from 10.30am – 2.30pm.
Activities include; Bog in a Bottle activity – learn about how bogs are made, Plants of the Bog – learn about the different plants in the bog and how to tell them apart, Pond Dipping in Bog Pool – Use nets and find out what creepy crawlies can be found in Bog pools, Birds and Mammals of the Bog – learn about the different animals that live in our bogs, and a Scavenger Hunt. Tickets are free but bring €2 for parking.

On Sunday the Harpers for Heritage concert takes place at Muckross Schoolhouse with Fiachra Ó Corragáin, Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman from 7.30pm to 9pm.

There’ll also be an exhibition from the Killarney National Park Photography Competition based on the theme of ‘Our History, Our Future’ in Killarney House and Gardens while the Me and the Moon will create Bee/Bug hotels and sustainable eco bird feeders today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) from 11am – 4pm at Muckross Schoolhouse.

The Heritage Council is encouraging people to visit www.heritageweek.ie to see what other events are taking place in their locality or across the country. Participants can browse the website and create a bespoke National Heritage Week ‘Events Trail’ to help them plan their week according to their location, their particular heritage interests and their preferred event type, such as a festival, performance, exhibition or re-enactment.

“This year, National Heritage Week looks to the past to create a better future,” Chief Executive of the Heritage Council of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan, said.

“The theme of sustainable heritage and biodiversity encourages us all to reflect on how our history and heritage can play a part in protecting our planet. Whether it’s learning a new skill like embroidery, blacksmithing or pottery making; better understanding how to prevent biodiversity loss in our own back gardens or country lanes; or gaining fresh insight into the history of our art, music or the Irish language and sharing this knowledge among friends and family, there are endless ways to get involved. I would encourage people to visit the National Heritage Week website and browse the vast array of events and projects taking place and plan their week.”

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