Concern is mounting over an escalation in anti-social behaviour in Dalkey, with a call for increased Garda presence in the area.

It comes after the MUGA pitch at Hyde Park (pictured) was badly damaged by a fire last Friday, and locals were furious with the news.

One wrote on social media: “Mindless. These kids have been causing havoc in the area for a while. They need to be thought a lesson with community service or something…”

Another local noted: “It’s the same every mid-term and holidays. DART station area is worst. Anti-social behaviour is getting ridiculous,” they said.

Dalkey resident and local election candidate Justin Moylan (FF) told Dublin Gazette there have been other reports recently such as houses being egged and a reported assault in the town.

“There has been an alarming increase in anti-social behaviour across Dalkey recently.

“Last Friday night resulted in fire damage to the all-weather multi-games area (MUGA) pitch at Hyde Park, Hyde Road.

“Thankfully nobody was injured but it could have easily been a different story.

“This has been festering for a while with reports of houses being “egged”, cars having stones thrown at them and a reported assault in the town,” explained Moylan.

In 2011, 31 Garda stations were closed nationally, including Dalkey.

Moylan is calling on gardai to provide “sufficient resources” to deal with the antisocial issues the community is facing.

In response to the fire and a call from some locals for CCTV at the MUGA pitch, a spokesperson for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council told Dublin Gazette:

“The council is very disappointed by the act of senseless vandalism of a popular public amenity, have notificed the gardai and will be moving speedily to repair the MUGA pitch.

“There is existing CCTV in situ in the locality.”

In the last week alone, other locals have been sharing their experiences of anti-social behaviour in the area.

One said her mother was walking out of Dalkey chipper putting her purse in her handbag when a teenage boy grabbed her purse and ran away with it with a couple of other boys. She followed them and found her purse on the road with her €50 gone.

Another reported seeing a man being attacked at Dalkey Dart Station by “three young guys” who broke the man’s glasses.

Councillor Cormac Devlin added that his office has received several complaints from concerned residents, and they will be hosting a meeting with gardai, local clubs and residents shortly.