by Amber Baxter

 

The gang of teen thugs who caused a referee to abandon a youths soccer match, in OMP’s grounds three weeks ago, are causing major concern in the general Blackcastle area with their ongoing anti social behaviour.

Locals in the vicinity of Blackcastle have told Meath Live that they no longer feel safe walking to the shops because of gangs hanging around the area.

And a local councillor has claimed that the situation highlights the lack of Gardai in the county .

Aontus, Emer Toibin has said, ‘“We have something around 564 people for one Garda. There is obviously a direct link between the number of Gardaí that are available in the county to the level of crime that takes place”.

She also emphasised the need for more amenities to be put in place when she added, “It makes absolutely no sense building all these new houses and not providing the basics in terms of a playing field or a community centre,

“We’ve been calling for this in the likes of Johnstown for example, for years and we’re still looking blankly at each other going why has this not been dealt with. The council has an obligation to not keep granting permission for more developments to take place until they put matching amenities and facilities”.

Toibin has called for the setting up of resident’s committees for every estate in Navan to help combat this behaviour.

Anxious residents of some estates have also spoken out, with one telling us, “The Blackcastle Shopping Centre area has become a hotpot for the behaviour with youths throwing bangers at cars and people walking to the shops.

“My mother lives in Fitzherbert Court and she said the gangs that are hanging around are crazy and she doesn’t feel safe walking around with them out any more”,

A resident of The Paddocks estate then opened up about the problems encountered there, claiming, “We have a fairy ring which is between two peoples land, Kingscroft Development who built the estate and another family. There is no fence between the two pieces of land”,

“Teenagers from all around come to drink, take drugs etc. and have set fires in the ring and the fire brigade have had to come to put them out. There is one house right beside the ring and I’m sure they must be very worried”,

“The Gardaí call very often but they can’t do anything as it is private land. Other neighbours have rung the police as fights break out when there is drink involved.

They went on to say that, “I have emailed the council, but they say it’s a police matter and they gave the police my number to contact me. I was told to ring any time we have issues and they will send up a car if there is one available. But they can’t do much as it’s youngsters and it’s on private land”.

Fly tipping has also become an issue, and as our exclusive picture shows at least one youth dumped mock leaving cert papers in the region, their name was clearly visible on the sheets and it is understood a prosecution may follow.