MUST READ: Local residents tell us “Balbriggan is rapidly becoming a no-go area with teenage gang violence out of control” – – Our News, Your Views

MUST READ: Local residents tell us “Balbriggan is rapidly becoming a no-go area with teenage gang violence out of control”

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Local residents of the north County Dublin town of Balbriggan are fearing their once loved town is turning into a hell hole.

The Liberal took to the streets of Balbriggan on Saturday afternoon to ask residents what they think of the constant violence that’s being under-reported by established media publications.

Not surprising, very few were willing to talk for fear of any sort of retribution but some elderly people were willing to give their thoughts on the situation that is increasingly getting out of hand.

Retired builder Eddie Carson told us:
“Balbriggan is a great town but it is quickly losing its appeal even for those of us who have lived here for years. I live at the far side of the football pitch behind the Church. There’s a lovely walkway between the Church and the tennis club that leads to the field where I can easily walk to my house. I’ve walked that walkway for more than 20 years with not as much as a mouse, not anymore. It’s far too dangerous in broad daylight to even think about doing it now”.

Asked why he feels such an open space is that dangerous, Mr Carson said:
“It’s the gangs. No one is willing to say it like it is. Locals and foreign nationals have developed their respective gangs. There’s literally 10 or 15 members of these gangs roaming the streets causing damage to people, property or each other”.

One woman who wished to remain unnamed said:
“I know some of my friends think the same, Balbriggan is quickly becoming a no-go area. People’s cars are getting keyed left, right and centre. I know of one woman who was verbally attacked when she was putting petrol into her car. I know of another man who was beaten up when he wouldn’t give a gang of thugs a cigarette. They are doing these things for fun, they don’t even need an excuse”.

“The gardai are well aware of what’s going on but it’s getting out of control for them too. We have seen the town quite literally treble, maybe even four times bigger than it was in say 1997/1998. I’m not saying it’s all the foreign people who’ve moved in that are causing trouble but it appears that they are the ones are in the majority of these gangs.”

At the start of December, up to 1,000 residents marched outside the local garda station in an effort to bring around some sort of change.

At that time, they claimed anti-social behaviour of all kinds including robberies, unprovoked assaults and intimidation by large groups of youths, sometimes numbering as many as 30 to 40 young people were rife.

If anything, it appears as if the problem has worsened significantly since the protest but locals aren’t giving up.

Mr Carson concluded:
“This is a fundamentally good town, there’s great people in it but we can’t keep letting this gang culture prevail. We need something to be done now before it really is too late to solve.”

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