People having sex on car bonets, people being stabbed and having glasses smashed in their faces, public urination, wanton criminal damage ; all in an evenings entertainment in Carlingford according to a revealing letter sent to the Dundalk Democrat this week.
In a anonymous letter sent to the Democrat, a resident at the end of their tether says the once peaceful medieval coastal village is being ruined by the behaviour of revellers who come to the village to party at the weekend.
Over the course of the last decade, Carlingford has become a hotspot for stag and especially hen parties. The trade has no doubt become an integral part of the local economy, especially the pubs, but has it come at a cost?
The letter goes into some detail about what life is like for local residents who have to put up with the noise of revellers.
“From people having sex over the bonnet of my car to my flower pots being smashed weekly. Drunks sitting on our window sills, and when asked to move they look for a fight or urinate on our property.”
The letter also says the writer’s son is unable to sleep at weekends due to the continual disturbances.
The letter also details the brazen nature of criminals in Carlingford who it claims stabbed a man in broad daylight and who openly snort cocaine in bars in the middle of the day.
The Green Party’s Mark Dearey’s experience as a publican give him an insight into the ongoing problems experienced in the seaside town.
“The key observations I would make are twofold.
“The first is that Carlingford is a special place, and that what makes it special needs to be nurtured and enhanced. There are tourism offerings that achieve this and these need to be well understood.
“The second point I would make, and I say this as someone who works in the bar trade, is that businesses need to make every effort to be good neighbours and to meet problems head on if residents have concerns.
“There may be a role too for a greater Garda presence on certain nights and this is something that should be looked at again.”
Newly elected councillor John McGahon, also agrees that an increased Garda prescene is needed, saying: “Carlingford is a tourist village, but it is important that we strike an appropriate balance between weekend tourists and local people.
“To achieve this, we need to keep our standards high in Carlingford.
“As a local councillor, I will be pushing for an increase in litter bins and a strong Garda presence on weekends to deal with the high influx of visitors.
“We also need to consider a reduction in noise pollution from venues on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
“We need to maintain high standards if Carlingford is to remain a truly attractive destination for families, locals and weekend visitors.”