El­derly liv­ing in fear of video-fu­elled street fights


The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - FRONT PAGE - By DÓNAL NOLAN

EL­DERLY peo­ple were left ter­ri­fied by street fight­ing out­side their homes in a North Kerry parish that one elec­tion can­di­date claims is be­ing ‘ tar­geted’ as a lo­ca­tion for vi­o­lent en­coun­ters – stoked by ‘call-out’ videos cir­cu­lat­ing widely on so­cial me­dia.

The claims came from Aontú gen­eral elec­tion can­di­date Sonny Fo­ran, who said he has been con­tacted by nu­mer­ous peo­ple in his home parish of Cause­way and Ballyduff over the vi­cious fight­ing.

He in­sisted the claims are not part of his elec­tion­eer­ing strat­egy, but as the re­sult of a very real threat to the peace lo­cally that hap­pens to co­in­cide with the elec­tion launch.

“There was a re­cent fight in Cause­way that was wit­nessed by el­derly peo­ple who were left ter­ri­fied by the sight...it seems th­ese peo­ple are com­ing into our parish as it is quiet, out of the way, and fight­ing in ar­eas where there would be many el­derly peo­ple liv­ing.”

“This is an out­ra­geous sit­u­a­tion. This is cou­pled with the in­tim­i­da­tion of fam­i­lies in Ballyduff and threats be­ing is­sued by lurcher dog own­ers to farm­ers in Bal­ly­heigue”.

He said he fears the be­hav­iour es­ca­lat­ing into even more vi­o­lent scenes.

LIV­ING in Ire­land, even the best plans are at the whim of Mother Na­ture, as was reaf­firmed for the or­gan­is­ers of the an­nual Jimmy Duffy Me­mo­rial Cy­cle on Satur­day morn­ing.

The event keeps alive the mem­ory of St Pat’s GAA stal­wart and much-loved lo­cal char­ac­ter Jimmy Duffy, who was 67-years-old when he trag­i­cally passed away as a re­sult of smoke in­hala­tion in a fire in his home in Blen­nerville in 2010.

A very pop­u­lar event, the 2020 ver­sion was ini­tially can­celled on Satur­day morn­ing due to safety con­cerns caused by the weather.

It is be­lieved that due to insurance rea­sons, the event could not be resched­uled to an­other day, so or­gan­is­ers de­cided to hold a scaled-back ver­sion later that same af­ter­noon.

Ku­dos to all those hardy cy­clists who braved the cy­cle in the af­ter­noon as they set off to Castleis­land and back again. The weary and grate­ful bunch were treated to a bevy of tea and re­fresh­ments in the club af­ter­wards as Jimmy was re­mem­bered with great af­fec­tion.

Pho­tos by John Cleary.

Jack and Joan Walsh; James O’Con­nor; Paul Byrne; Martina and Mau­rice Hanafin; Chair­man John Mur­ray of the Chain Gang Cy­cling Club; Paudie Mur­phy, Ge­orge Poff and Tony O’Callaghan, who took part in the Jimmy Duffy Me­mo­rial Cy­cle on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

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