An voluntary organisation set up to protect weekend revellers is hoping to double its numbers on Cork City’s streets.
Street Pastors set up the Saturday night patrols in Cork six months ago and have been praised for their work by the gardaí.
Currently they have 20 members but, according to co-ordinator Dave Hoey, they hope to double this in the coming weeks.
The organisation was formed in Brixton, London, in 2003 and has 10,000 members in Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Street Pastors wear distinctive blue and black jackets which have
the florescent Street Pastor name emblazoned on their fronts and backs.
They often administer to people who may have had too much to drink and often try to defuse potentially violent situations
The team regularly minds sick or injured people until the emergency services arrive.
Mr Hoey said the Street Pastor teams normally start their patrols at
about 10.30pm and remain on the street until about 4am the following
“We bring around a first aid kit, thermal blankets, bottles of water and flip flops,” he said.
The first aid kits have obvious use and the thermal blankets are for people who may be suffering from hypothermia.
The bottles of water are provided to those who may have been sick and have become dehydrated.
The flip flops are given to young female revellers who may have lost
their high heels, or who may have swollen ankles as a result of hours
dancing in high-heeled shoes.
“In the areas we have patrolled
in the past six months we have disposed of approximately 2,400 glass
bottles which if left on the street have potential to be used as
“We also sweep up broken glass so that people walking in their bare feet don’t get injured.”
The patrollers also keep a close eye out for what they term vulnerable
people and will endeavour to contact that person’s friends to let them
know where they are.
Recruits normally have references from
their various church leaders and they have to be Garda-vetted before
they can be trained.
“We’d like to double the amount of
volunteers we have. They have to pay for their own uniforms, training
and incur their own expenses. If somebody would like to sponsor any of
this they could contact the gardaí on our behalf,” said Mr Hoey.