Time to change at­ti­tudes

New coun­cil group hop­ing to make real im­pact for peo­ple of Rathmullen

Mid Louth Independent - - NEWS - By HUBERT MUR­PHY

IT’S TIME to tackle the so­cial is­sues that ex­ist in ar­eas of Rathmullen Park - once and for all.

That’s the feel­ings of many res­i­dents whose daily lives are blighted by anti-so­cial be­hav­iour. They feel the time has come to sort out the sit­u­a­tion, rather than al­low it to fes­ter and erupt in the fu­ture.

‘Peo­ple need to be given a sense of own­er­ship in this es­tate. With that will come pride and a com­mu­nity spirit. But for too long, anti-so­cial be­hav­iour has been al­lowed to win out. This needs to change,’ one res­i­dent told the Drogheda In­de­pen­dent this week.

At last week’s mu­nic­i­pal district meet­ing, it was re­vealed that a cross-direc­torate staff group had been formed to look at up to five is­sues in Rathmullen. This have been raised by res­i­dents and coun­cil­lors. Head of hous­ing, Joe McGuin­ness will lead it.

There are plenty of is­sues on the agenda, dump­ing, anti-so­cial be­hav­iour and some new ini­tia­tives - in­clud­ing look­ing at al­ley­ways.

And it is that point - al­ley­ways - that has many res­i­dents con­cerned.

‘St Finian’s Park had many is­sues down the years and a proper plan was put in place to tackle is­sues. That in­cluded clos­ing up al­ley­ways and it worked. Rathmullen has too many al­ley­ways, too many points of en­try. We need to sort that out, one way in, one way out. Cul de sacs are the only way,’ the res­i­dent added.

Ef­forts to tackle the is­sues in Rathmullen have been piece meal and are not work­ing.

‘Bol­lards were erected and that means the likes of the gar­dai can’t get into cer­tain ar­eas. The area is too open plan and at least six al­ley ways could be closed as they serve not pur­pose, apart from al­low­ing peo­ple the chance to con­gre­gate and cause prob­lems for those liv­ing nearby,’ they state.

‘Bound­ary walls could sort out things and help to curb joyrid­ing. There are 300 houses here and there’s no res­i­dents as­so­ci­a­tion. A lot of that is down to fear, peo­ple don’t want to be seen to be mak­ing an is­sue as they’ll be tar­geted. There is a lot of fear in this es­tate.

‘I know of el­derly peo­ple who sit in the dark for fear of youths see­ing a light on and draw­ing at­ten­tion to them­selves.

‘At times we feel the gar­dai have lit­tle in­ter­est in an­swer­ing calls. One Satur­dat even­ing re­cently I rang them af­ter a house was at­tacked and two hours later they hadn’t ar­rived. They said there was one pa­trol car on duty and it was tied up.

‘I can un­der­stand their frus­tra­tion. They come up and when these youths see the car, they scat­ter in all di­rec­tions. It’s point­less.

‘There was an is­sue in the area around the Com­mu­nity House some years ago and CCTV was put up and the prob­lem was solved. Maybe we need more cam­eras.’

They hope the new ini­tia­tive will lead to changes in Rathmullen but it will only work if there are dis­cus­sions with the res­i­dents.

New coun­cil group hope to make cru­cial changes in Rathmullen (right).

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