Neighbours making life hell for angry residents
OUT OF CONTROL DRINKING PARTIES, DRUGS AND VEHICLES SET ON FIRE
DESPERATE RESIDENTS of Ballywaltrim Heights, Glenthorn and Ballywaltrim Cottages are pleading with their public representatives for help as a small number of anti-social neighbours make their lives a misery.
Eddie Lowe of Glenthorn looked outside on Christmas night to find that his jeep had been set on fire. He built his house in 1984 and said that matters have only deteriorated in the area since then. He is involved with a joint residents committee comprising the three estates.
He said that there are known areas in Ballywaltrim where drugs are being sold, out of control drinking parties taking place. He reckons that around three families are continually disturbing everyone else. ‘If those three families weren’t there we would have a fantastic set up,’ said Mr. Lowe. ‘And once you stand up and do anything right you become a target.’
Residents have also complained that two boarded-up houses owned by St. John of God’s Carmona Services, have been broken into and are regularly used for drug and drink related activity. There have also recently been shots fired at a car in the estate.
‘There has been at least €40,000 worth of damage done to those vacant houses at this stage,’ remarked Cllr. John Byrne. ‘It definitely will be torched one of these nights.
‘Does someone have to fall and get hurt or get killed in those houses for something to happen when we’re flagging this now,’ added Eddie Lowe, who said many people in the area are living in fear and sleeping light. ‘ You can’t help thinking, if they would set my car on fire what else could happen?’
Mr. Lowe said that there was previously a problem with speeding and joyriding but the Gardaí have intervened and that has ceased. ‘If it wasn’t for the Gardaí things would be a lot worse. They are the only ones that have actually come to our assistance.
‘The grass areas are littered. Littering is a major problem. Some residents have been dumping horseboxes and furniture on the grass areas as well as breaking up windows. Once in a while it gets cleaned up but it’s as bad as ever again. It’s more than just cosmetic – there is an underlying problem here.’
While the area is within the boundaries of Bray Town Council, the Ballywaltrim Heights houses were built in the 1970s by Wicklow County Council so the people there remain tenants of the County Council.
‘Wicklow County Council built those houses and walked away,’ said Mr. Lowe. ‘The Council have shown the same disinterest since then. We’ve had assurance after assurance from officials that something will be done but nothing ever is.
‘There are plenty of talking shops but nobody’s ever done anything.
‘Sometimes when we have gone out ourselves to finish cutting the grass and the sun is shining and it’s quiet, it looks like a lovely place,’ said Mr. Lowe. ‘It should be like that all the time.’ The committee met a number of councillors from Bray Town Council recently to discuss their problems.
The Town Clerk, Ms. Christine Flood told last Tuesday’s meeting that the Council will assist in the setting up of an Estate Forum, with the Fassaroe programme as a model. Through the forum the two authorities and the residents will be able to liaise.
The Town Manager Des O’Brien has indicated that he will support the establishment of such a body.
In relation to the boarded up houses, it is understood that the Department of the Environment has sought the report of an occupational therapist before work can proceed.
Some of the rubbish being dumped by irrational neighbours at Ballywaltrim Cottages.