Claddagh Cour

Residents of a senior citizens complex in Ballyfermot have reported feeling intimidated by young people, who have begun hanging around their homes.

Gangs of teenagers have begun to hang around the Claddagh Court senior citizens complex near Cherry Orchard, which is overseen by Dublin City Council, in recent months, with residents in the complex calling gardai to address their concerns.

It is believed that the gangs are climbing over the gates into the complex, in a time when anti-social behaviour in the locality is steadily on the rise.

Residents are said to feel intimidated and uncomfortable by the young individuals hanging around their homes.

However, due to a lack of gardai in the area, it has become difficult for law enforcement to come to the complex to force the youths off the property.

Calls have now been made for DCC to introduce additional safety measures at the home to tackle the loitering, including the introduction of a higher, curved gate to provide peace of mind to the individuals living in Claddagh Court.

At last month’s council meeting, Cllr Hazel Di Nortuin (PBP) put forward a motion to call on the area manager to commit to the upgrading of the current gates and security system in the complex, with the order agreed at the meeting.

Cllr Di Nortuin told Dublin Gazette that the security system has been an issue for residents for the past number of years, and that they now need the council to conduct the upgrades for their peace of mind.

She said: “The kids have been hanging around on the stairs and smoking and going up and down in the lifts. There’ve been no reports of violence, but there is a continuous presence of these young people, a bit of an intimidation.

“If none of this is solved [soon], the residents are talking about direct action.
“In fairness to the council, the whole area around the complex is being looked at and there will be changes made, it just won’t be a quick response.”

Dublin City Council told Dublin Gazette that council staff are aware of the issue, and that Gardai in Ballyfermot Garda Station are aware of youths accessing the complex.

A spokesperson said: “At a residents’ meeting on 10 April, an issue regarding youths gaining access by climbing over the gate was discussed. These youths have been seen on CCTV climbing the gate and the matter has been reported to An Garda Síochána.

“At our request, Ballyfermot Maintenance Depot arranged for an engineer to call to the complex to investigate as to whether the security fence can be raised, and a curved top added to prevent these youths gaining access to the complex.

“DCC staff have briefed the local Garda Inspector on the complex and the sheltered areas where these youths congregate.”