Call for house to be secured

The vacant house on Creggan Road where local residents have said young people are gathering to drink. (2401MM13)
The vacant house on Creggan Road where local residents have said young people are gathering to drink. (2401MM13)

Residents of Creggan Hill have called for a vacant house in the area to be secured to prevent young people gathering in it to drink.

The house, on the corner of Creggan Hill and Helen Street, has become a gathering point for teenagers, local residents claim.

One woman who lives in the area said people living nearby are “terrified.”

“It is not just at weekends, it is every night,” a resident claimed.

“It got so bad on Wednesday night that the police had to come and they put about 30 people out of the house. That’s what it’s like here for local residents.

“There are a number of elderly residents in the street and they are terrified. No one should have to feel like that in their own home,” she said.

The woman said the house has been vacant for some time and has been open following a break in just before Christmas, when radiators and piping was stolen.

“We have been trying to get this sorted and have been in touch with the Council and the police but it seems that the owner is not interested in securing the property. Our fear is that a fire could start in this house and spread to other homes or lead to it collapsing and someone being killed,” she said.

Sinn Féin councillor Colly Kelly backed the residents’ call for the house to be secured.

“I have received several complaints over the weekend about this vacant property. Local residents are at their wits end, concerned that the building could be set on fire and with it being in the end of a row of terraced houses we could be dealing with potentially fatal consequences.

“The building is easily accessible, young children and teenagers have been in and out of it on a nightly basis and have been up to all sorts of carry on. It has become a focal point for anti-community activity and residents fear that a child could be seriously injured there,” he said.

Colr. Kelly called for immediate action to be taken.

“As a matter of urgency this building needs secured straight away. It’s also important that the external fabric and decoration of this property is kept in line with the rest of the properties in the street,” he said.