GARDAI CONTINUE INVESTIGATIONS INTO SERIOUS INCIDENT IN CARLINGFORD
HALLOWEEN turned into fright night for Carlingford residents as a gang of youths rioted in the scenic village, throwing rockets at houses, businesses and cars.
Terrified residents were afraid to venture out on the streets, with one woman describing it as ‘ the worst night of my life,’
‘It was three and a half hours of hell,’ she said.
‘ The village was in lock down as people couldn’t leave their houses. ‘
The terrifying ordeal began around 7.45pm as a large gang of youths, some believed to be as young as 11 or 12, roamed through the village, throwing rockets,
Worried residents made multiple calls to the gardai and as the onslaught continued, some were so concerned that they phoned 999 for assistance.
While garda checkpoints were place at the entry to the village, one man said that the effect of this was that residents living in the village were essentially left at the mercy of the rioters until gardai in full riot gear finally arrived around 11.40pm.
‘By then it was far too late,’ he stated. ‘ Homes had been attacked. Residents had been terrorised and at least one business had been attacked and forced to close.’
Much of the trouble was concentrated on the area around the car parks and Thursday morning revealed the damage.
The windows of a car were smashed, attempts had been made to set other vehicles on fire with unexploded rockets clearly visible under a number of cars, and remains of fires could be seen on the road.
Supt Gerry Curley told The Argus that he agreed that it was ‘a very serious incident’ on what was otherwise a quiet Halloween in the area.
He said that ‘a large number of young people had gathered in the area and were throwing fireworks.’
As many as forty youths were involved in the disturbance and he didn’t rule out the possibility of the gathering being organised through social media.
He revealed that fireworks were thrown in the direction of members of the Garda Siochana but fortunately no one was injured.
‘Our first reaction was to contain it as best as possible and to ensure the safety of everyone including the young people,’ he continued. ‘We did deploy the public order unit to quell the incident.’
One young person was arrested under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act for possession of an improvised explosives device and three others were arrested for public order offences.
Supt Curley said the gardai had established the identity of a number of the others and the gardai will be calling to their homes and speaking to them in the presence of their parents.
‘A full investigation will be carried out,’ he pledged, adding that gardai had patrols in the village the following night in case there was further trouble.
A recent meeting of the Joint Policing Committee in Carlingford heard that dealing with anti-social behaviour in the north Louth village was putting a strain on garda resources.
Cllr Antóin Watters condemned the anti social activities in Carlingford on Halloween night.
‘I received numerous calls from local residents who were scared and unable to leave their homes for a number of hours. Everyone likes to enjoy Halloween but it is not acceptable that homes and cars are getting damaged. People put themselves and other people at risk of serious injury. I will be raising my concerns with the Gardaí and speaking with the local residents.’
The morning after Halloween and evidence of some of the vandalism in Carlingford.