Land owner at ‘wits end’ over activities in Creggan

Horses in a field in the Creggan area.
Horses in a field in the Creggan area.

A land owner in Creggan is “at his wits end” due to youths repeatedly cutting fences which has resulted in panicked horses running through the estate, a local councillor has warned.

Independent Colr. Gary Donnelly said the wire being cut along fields in the hinterland of the Creggan Estate may now delay plans to open to open a new horse riding facility in the area.

Damage caused to a van after horses were set loose in Creggan.

Damage caused to a van after horses were set loose in Creggan.

Colr. Donnelly said there were related issues in the area that were forcing one family with a disabled relative to seriously consider moving out.

“Over the last few weeks I have been contacted by residents in Creggan and land owners bordering the estate about a number of issues effecting them due to the unauthorised removal of fencing,” he said.

“Residents of Magowan/ Ballymagowan Park areas have been facing disruption to their lives with youths using unauthorised access points to neighbouring fields. In one case recently the Fire Service had to be called by a family who have a wheelchair bound relative, after a gorse fire came dangerously close to their home and they feared for the safety of their disabled relative. The family has told me that they are considering leaving their purpose built dwelling.

“Part of the problem is young people using an abandoned barn nearby. I understand this property is now owned by a bank and I will be contacting the owners as a matter of urgency to secure the building.

“I have also contacted Apex housing who own the housing development and spoken to them about damage being caused to their fences.”.

Colr. Donnelly said one landowner told him that his horses from four separate locations were deliberately let loose in an incident recently which saw dozens of the animals gallop around the Creggan Estate.

“This was not an isolated incident and he has since had to deal with other incidents of his animals being released from their field. This is a very dangerous situation and when out of their familiar surroundings horses tend to get very nervous. They can cause damage to themselves or local drivers or pedestrians.

“In fact considerable damage was caused to a van after a loose horse collided with it,” Colr. Donnelly noted.

“The landowner in question is at his wits end after repairing fences numerous times only to find them cut again sometimes within hours. He has even tried putting in stiles or gates to facilitate local walkers to find them removed or damaged.

“Plans to establish a horse riding facility in the area may now have to be placed on hold if the vandalism continues.

“This would be a shame as it would have benefited the local area which is already suffering due to neglect and lack of investment.”