MITCHELSTOWN WANTS ASB TO BE OUTLAWED
Residents in a housing estate in Mitchelstown are calling on Cork County Council and An Garda Siochana to act immediately to deal with a spate of antisocial behaviour (ASB) in their area over the last few months.
One resident who does not wish to be indentified as they fear they and their family will be victimised, told The Avondhu of the trauma and fear that they have been subjected to.
“We live in Ardmhuilinn and we have a serious anti-social behaviour problem with gangs of teenagers but, what occurs in Ardmhuilinn every October between the bonfire, fireworks and the antisocial behaviour, is completely unacceptable. Also a similar unpleasant atmosphere exists during the lead up to New Year’s Eve,” the resident said.
The resident claims that the estate seems to be a focal point for gangs of teenagers who gather there on a nightly basis.
“Gangs of teenagers congregate in groups of up to 15 individuals and will cause noise and disturbances often until as late as 2am. There are many laws and regulations against the types of behaviour that the residents of this estate are being subjected to, but they are not being enforced in any concrete manner (or at all for what we can see).
"Again we are being subjected to verbal harassment from gangs of teenagers, the only thing that has changed is that the teens have gotten older and the threat they pose has become more tangible.
"For the whole month of October the residents of this estate and adjacent estates have had to put up with the near nightly occurrence of illegal fireworks being set off, often late into the night. These teenagers are also using the fireworks in an extremely dangerous manner; I have witnessed them using the fireworks like a grenade launcher by placing them into the side of the grassy hill and firing them horizontally down the access road to Ardmhuilinn and the neighbouring estate.
"There is an enormous risk of seriously causing injury or permanently maiming either themselves or a completely innocent passer-by. There is also an increased risk of fire as the fireworks are landing on the roofs of the houses in the estate. Spent fireworks and stones are being thrown at peoples windows and there is a high incidence of ‘knockadolly’, not just doorbell ringing but front doors being battered violently,” the resident continued.
The residents have also seen their estate uses as a dumping ground in preparation for a bonfire on Hallowe’en night.
“For the whole month of October this estate has become an illegal dumping ground in preparation for the unlawful bonfire which is due to take place on Hallowe’en night. In the past has I have heard this bonfire being referred to as a ‘supervised community’ bonfire, it is no such thing it is organized and run by teenagers who will collect this rubbish over a period of a month, often trespassing to get firewood and other items to be burnt.
"For example trees belonging to the Cope foundation were cut without their permission. People from outside the estate also ‘generously’ contribute to the bonfire by turning this Council estate into an illegal dump, which I find to be completely unacceptable as the county council is the very authority whose job it is to prevent illegal dumping.
"The Cork County Council web site has a document entitled ‘Anti Social Behaviour Strategy’, it seems to us not a word of this strategy has been employed here; this estate is being ignored or has been forgotten about. The radio station 96FM has be playing adds over the last few weeks stating that dog faeces and littering would not be tolerated, there have been other adds about fireworks not being tolerated but it seems that everything is tolerated in Ardmhuilinn,” the resident said.
Many residents in the estate are calling for a community bonfire that would be properly organized and safely run.
“Half of Mitchelstown arrives up here (to Ardmhuilinn) on Hallowe’en night for the bonfire, but I could safely say that not one of them would like to put up with the dumping, littering and the intimidation and abusive behaviour that the lead up to it entails.
"If Mitchelstown wants a ‘community bonfire’ then this needs to happen somewhere else, maybe on waste ground somewhere and supervised by designated adults with only approved items accepted for burning. This unauthorised event I’m sure breaks numerous local authority, environmental and health and safety regulations and takes place on local authority land with their knowledge.
"Turning blind eye to these things would be acceptable if it was just a bit of fun, but as I have outlined above it is a bit of fun for a very small minority and torture for everyone else. The actions of a small minority have given this estate a very bad name and I suppose this gives licence to the rest of the town to use it as a dump,” the resident concluded.
Thursday 4th November 5:18pm