A petition calling for the placing of lifebuoys along the river bank, particularly in the Bulwarks area, will be presented to the next meeting of Mallow Town Council on 1st October.

The lifebuoy campaign was set up by local woman Lisa Kelly following the tragic death by drowning of teenager Gary Fleming at the Bulwarks two weeks ago. Speaking to the Mallow Star this week, Lisa said that after Gary’s death she felt compelled to act on the matter and highlight the lack of lifebuoys on the river bank, so she set up a petition which soon gathered huge local support. She will bring this petition to the next Town Council meeting and present it to Mayor Noel O’Connor. “Coun-cillors have said they are 100% behind us on this, and Cllr. Jerry Mullally agreed to read out our letter to the next meeting of the Joint Policy Com-mittee,” she said, adding that the local taxi drivers’ association had also offer-ed to sponsor lifebuoys.

Mayor O’Connor said that at the October 1st meeting he would propose to suspend standing orders to allow Lisa and two of her committee to speak to the meeting and outline their suggestions. He expressed condolences to Gary Fleming’s family and said it was a tribute to his memory that people felt so strongly about river safety that they had come together and set up a petition. “I don’t envisage any problems with placing warning signs on the river bank, but we will have to consider the issue of lifebuoys, as when we put them up they seem to come down again,” he said. “I don’t believe anyone is anti-signs, and if it prevents another tragedy that would be wonderful. I would also encourage parents to promote the use of the local swimming pool by their children, as the pool is a safe place at all times with fully-trained lifeguards.” He added that he was looking forward to meeting Lisa to discuss the issue.