Neigh­bours mak­ing life hell for an­gry res­i­dents

OUT OF CON­TROL DRINK­ING PAR­TIES, DRUGS AND VE­HI­CLES SET ON FIRE

Bray People - - Council Report -

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.

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