Youths on rallying sprees and vandals hurling ‘muck bombs’ are wreaking havoc in Greysteel, it has been claimed.
Sinn Fein councillor Dermot Nicholl says the spate of anti social behaviour has been happening for a number of weeks.
“This is just wanton destruction and people are fed up with it,” he told the ‘Journal’.
Colr. Nicholl was speaking after damage was caused to street lights in the area at the weekend, when muck bombs were pelted at homes and the local community centre was targeted by vandals. Glass bottles were hurled at the Centre and lay shattered in the soft play area, while a hot spot for under-age drinking was left littered with beer cans and a fire started.
The weekend also witnessed rallying on quads, during the day and at night, “ripping up the grass”.
“That creates a muck bath and the dirt is pelted at homes. People have had enough and they want it to stop,” said Colr. Nicholl, who claimed some residents are too scared to challenge the perpetrators.
“Greysteel is generally quiet, but recently there are a few people who just don’t respect the community,” said Colr. Nicholl. “I have no doubt some of the people involved in these antics are from elsewhere but, for those who are from here, they need to realise they are only hurting their own community.”
Raymond O’Hara of Greysteel Community Association said the weekend vandalism meant the play area was off limits on Monday because of the debris from bottles catapulted over the fence.
“It’s dangerous, because there was glass everywhere. We couldn’t open it up until it was cleared and, with the good weather this week, it left a lot of children disappointed,” said Mr. O’Hara.
Local woman Libby Devine said the play area is one of a few resources for parents in the area.
“It’s really disappointing when this happens because the centre and the play area are so well used,” she said.
Colr. Nicholl says he has contacted police and is engaging with youths in the area, but he called on parents to take responsibility.He also had a warning for youths rallying on quads, some who are allegedly out on the road at night with no lights on.
“That’s a recipe for disaster,” he said. “It’s not about being a killjoy, it’s about people being sensible. The people who are at this know who they are, and they need to stop.”
Colr. Nicholl added: “Most of the time things are quiet in Greysteel, but this is the reality of what has been happening here recently, and people need to know and help put a stop to it.
“Now as we approach the longer evenings, and school holidays, do these tearways, on their spree of wanton destruction, do they think they’re going to cause havoc on this community? Well people won’t stand for it.”