Wicklow County Council’s innovative concept ”chatting benches” is being expanded in the Garden County.
Discussions can be enjoyed by the public with a member of An Garda Síochána on the specially designated seating!
The benches have been introduced in the towns of Wicklow and Arklow. Wicklow Gardaí, in conjunction with the Wicklow and Arklow Municipal Districts, have announced the expansion of the Chatting Bench initiative already in operation on the promenade in Bray.
The bench in Wicklow is located at the Black Castle, while Arklow’s is at the Parade Ground, near the bandstand.
For at least one hour a week, with a prescribed time allotted on the Garda Síochána Wicklow Facebook page, a member of the Gardaí will be present at the benches, available to have a (socially distanced) chat with interested parties.
Cathaoirleach of Wicklow Municipal District, Cllr John Snell, and Cathaoirleach of Arklow Municipal District, Cllr Sylvester Burke, welcomed the initiative being extended to their towns saying that by just having a little bit of interaction can address loneliness and isolation in our communities.
Superintendent Declan McCarthy said: “A Garda will be present to have a chat, give advice or just say Hi and the ‘Chatting Bench’ provides the perfect opportunity for people to interact more with the Gardai in a neutral venue other than at a Garda Station”.