As the year approaches its conclusion, my colleagues and I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas. We would also like to remind people that at this time of year there are more opportunities for people to enjoy themselves.

We hope they do but we suggest that alcohol and driving not be mixed. There will be increased Garda presence to remind people of this. We hope that people will be sensible over the festive season.

This time of year also sees an increase in crime. We advise people to be security conscious especially if going away over the holidays. Keep an eye out for your neighbour’s property and at all times keep your home and property secure.

Old people can be especially vulnerable over the Christmas season. This can be a time of loneliness for them – keep an eye on the older members of our community. A visit now and again to see that they are safe and secure in their homes would be an additional little kindness at Christmas.

As the population of Athenry is expanding, pressure on our roads is increasing. While shopping in Athenry we ask drivers to be considerate when parking their cars in and around the town.

Finally, we would like to thank the community for their help and cooperation during the year. We look forward to working with you in 1998. We wish you all a prosperous New Year.