Dundalk residents angered over late night anti social behaviour

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Louth Cllr Kevin Meenan reflects on how health scare changed his perspective on life

Councillor Kevin Meenan raised the issue at the Dundalk Municipal District meeting last Tuesday.

Residents have told how they have been left terrified in their homes by a group of men gathering just off the by-pass in town and engaging in anti-social behaviour.
The group of around six men have been congregating in a secluded wooded area just metres from the playground in St Helena’s Park where they have been drinking heavily and violent fights have broken out, one resident told the Democrat.
It is understood some of the men have been sleeping rough in the area for several months, while others are street-drinkers who are joining them daily.
Gardai are aware of the anti-social behaviour and have been to the area to move them on several occasions.
One woman, who lives close by and did not wish to be named, said: “There were two men sleeping rough in the area around mid-March and then others started coming down and now there are about five or six of them every night and day.
“They are drinking alcohol heavily and are roaring and shouting every night and playing loud music.
“They are fights constantly with violent rows breaking out among them, it is very intimidating.
“They are drinking alcohol to excess, cans and bottles of vodka neat.
“It is relentless, it every night and they are always fighting and being aggressive.
“It is very frightening, and the residents feel intimidated in their own homes.
“When I am walking home my friends walk me to the door to make sure I will be alright.
“They are just dumping their cans and bottles there and relieving themselves in the area.”
The residents, which includes women living on their own and elderly people, have had to call the gardai on several occasions due to the anti-social behaviour taking place.

Gardai were most recently called to the area last Tuesday and moved them on warning them that if they returned, they would be arrested.
However, it is understood that a few days later they returned.They are also walking around the area heavily intoxicated past St Helena’s park where there is a playground and children playing, the resident said.
The resident continued: “Families are out walking with their children and the kids are running into the woodland area where they are, and I have to warn their parents to stop them.
“It is horrible being frightened in your own home with heavily intoxicated men roaring and shouting and fighting constantly.
Councillor Kevin Meenan raised the issue at the Dundalk Municipal District meeting last Tuesday.
He said: “There are homeless people sleeping rough that are engaging in anti-social behaviour.
“While taking into account their plight it is a serious issue for residents.”
Louth County Council said that they were not aware of the issue but that they would look into it.
Sinn Fein councillor Kevin Meenan, speaking to the Democrat after the meeting, said: “It seems it is not just rough sleepers but also street drinkers who have been gathering in the wooded area and engaging in anti-social behaviour.
“This is of great concern for the residents who are frightened in their homes.
“They are also roaming around the wider local community while highly intoxicated where people are walking in the park, shopping and children playing in the close-by playground.
“It is understood they are also in the wider locality staying in private houses in the area.
“The gardai response has been good and they will hopefully keep that up.”