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Cork Independent


Farranree residents are living in fear

Thursday, 17th October, 2019 8:56am

“Will it take me bringing my kids to hospital to have glass pulled out of them before something gets done about this?”

Those were the words of a Farranree resident and father who is at his wits’ end after almost three years of aggressive anti-social behaviour near his home.

Speaking at a community safety forum for Shandon, Blackpool and Farranree this week, the man asked gardaí why nothing was being done about the issue.

“I’ve had 30 garda callouts in the last year and a half. We’re living in fear all the time. It all stems from the park. Youths are climbing in there and benches and bins are being burned and crackers are being set off,” he said.

“I was told that the gardaí couldn’t do anything unless there was damage done. What’s going to be done? Do we have to do something ourselves?” he added.

The resident also described his efforts to install CCTV in order to identify the perpetrators, however gardaí stated that, for legal reasons linked with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the evidence could not be used.

Garda Superintendent Mick O’Brien responded by asking residents to “bear with us” and said he was very disappointed to hear of the extent of the issue.

He also stated that, as the darker nights and Halloween approach, he expects anti-social behaviour to increase across the city and that the gardaí would need to make real efforts to keep the peace.

“We have to tailor our policing to that. There is no golden bullet to solve it,” he explained.

Asked about extra garda resources that were promised to the area, the Superintendent said that the promised resources which had been earmarked for Cork were redeployed elsewhere in the country to deal with more pressing issues.

The community safety forum was chaired by John Hartnett, accompanied by David O’Brien of the Cork City Council, Superintendent Mick O’Brien and Sgt Terry Murphy. A number of other garda representatives were also present.

A number of other residents also raised concerns around anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping in local housing developments, with one development in particular described as becoming a “dumping ground”.

“Fly-tipping is not from poverty. Poverty doesn’t make you a dirty person. These people just have no civic pride,” said a resident.

Residents told gardaí that some building developments appeared to have no visible security staff and that people could simply “hop the wall” to gain entry.

Another resident claimed that when they phoned one developer that they were “stonewalled”.

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