‘Children being put into clothes bins’

Charity clothes bins may soon be banned in Clare – following reports of young children being stuffed into the large metal bins late at night, to steal clothes for organised gangs.
Clare County Council is to examine a proposal to introduce bylaws banning the bins from public areas following a string of complaints made about them.
Councillors in the Killaloe Municipal District have forwarded the motion to the council. They have described the clothes bins operations as ‘unregulated’, ‘threatening’ and run by a ‘very arrogant crowd’.
Local Fianna Fáil councillor, Alan O’Callaghan, physically removed two bins from his own premises after trying unsuccessfully for a year to contact the operators.
“I had two of them in my own car park – and eventually I had to get the tractor out and take them away myself. There was all sort of activity taking place there.
“There were gangs coming in vans late at night and trying to put young lads into the bin to take out the clothes,” he said.
“I’ve had the two of them [the bins] out the back of my place for the last year and no-one has ever come looking for them. They are probably worth something if someone wants to come and take them for scrap metal.”
A proposal will now go forward to Clare County Council to request that regulations be put in place to ban theses bins from public areas.
“If this is successful the bins will be removed from public areas in the county, but members of the public and businesses will still be able to house these bins on their private property.
“This is an unregulated service. I think the council has a role to play here as well – we are promoting recycling.
“We’d had a lot of hassle with this before.
“We’ve also seen a child being put inside in the clothes bank at night to take out the clothes.
“It’s an accident waiting to happen,” said Cllr Pat Hayes (FF).
“I’d like to ask the Environment Section [of Clare County Council] to look at the regulations around this area and ask that they be banned from Clare.
“If the public knew where these clothes were going I don’t think they would put their clothes into them.
“This is a multi-million euro business and it’s totally unregulated.”
Speaking on the motion, chair of the Killaloe Municipal District, Cllr Joe Cooney (FG) said that they have had difficulty in the past surrounding cloths bins in the area.
“There is a very arrogant crowd going around collecting these clothes. There were even threatening calls made about this,” he said.

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