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Frustration at inaction on Shannon anti-social behaviour

THE last couple of years have seen many complaints of anti-social behaviour around Shannon, and this week two men have spoken about their homes repeatedly having been attacked by local teenagers.

The two houses are in a relatively prominent part of the town, and the occupants say that they, and two other neighbouring properties have been targeted again and again.

One of the men said that he is utterly sick of his home being damaged, and with Gardai saying they can do little due to the age of those involved, he says he will protect his own home in future.

“I’ve been to the Guards a number of times, they do nothing about it, they don’t care, they’re not interested, so I’m taking it into my own hands. I’m sick of it, I went to three houses and the parents didn’t give a f**k.”

He said that videos of the offenders have been shown to Gardai, but there is no consequences for the young people involved.

“It’s just these four houses that are being attacked the whole time. We’re getting our windows smashed, the tiles on the roof are smashed. These aren’t stones, they’re bricks and rocks. We went to the guards and they’re not interested. Their hands are tied, they told us. So where do you go from there?”

He has lived in Shannon since the early 1970s, and said that when he went to speak to parents of the young people involved, there was little interest.

“I asked some young lads who the people were, and they told me. I called to three houses, one of them were very nice and the other two didn’t care.”

Only last week half of a cavity block was thrown at his house and could have caused serious injury had it hit someone.

“We have them on the video picking it up. I couldn’t even throw it very far, it’s that heavy. It landed on the walkway of the house.”

He said it is resulting in a lot of expense. “I’m sick of paying for windows, paying for tilers and roofers to come in. It’s happening every second week really.”

He added, “I know they’re young and they’re bored, but at the end of the day it’s costing us. There’s no point talking to the Guards. Over the years this has cost us a lot of money and we’re scraping to pay a mortgage.”

Another man in the area said the problem has got worse since some clearing work was done. “It comes in waves really, sometimes it happens every week, sometimes it’s quiet. It escalated after the Council cut down a hedge that was creating a barrier. After that it escalated.”

While the incidents don’t happen every day, it is regular enough to mean ongoing stress for all residents. “You can’t really relax at the weekend, it’s in your mind that it could happen again. People here are nervous about it,” he said.

He said he has been to the Gardai several times, but there has been no resolution. “Yeah, but they won’t do anything. I went there a number of times, showed them the videos, you can clearly see who it is, but I never got any update.”

He said that while he hasn’t been in touch with Clare County Council about the issue yet, he is hopeful that they might be able to help. “No, I have not spoken to the Council, but my neighbour spoke to them and I think I will too. The solution might be a fence, when there was a barrier it was very good for a number of years, there were no issues at all.”

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.