Accusations gangs are leaving Longford residents prisoners in their own homes

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Accusations gangs are leaving Longford residents prisoners in their own homes

Claims of rising anti-social behaviour in the greater Ardnacassa area of Longford town resurfaced once again this week

Anti social behaviour in one of Longford town’s most densely populated estates has become so terrifying residents can no longer sleep at night.

That’s the claim made this week by homeowners residing in the greater Ardnacassa area of town amid concerns a growing number of families are “living in fear”.

Those anxieties were brought to the fore only last week when a Joint Policing Committee (JPC) was told how some law abiding citizens had been effectively forced to sell up and leave their homes.

There are people down there who have taken out mortgages, who are to the pin of their collar but are living in fear," Cllr Peggy Nolan (FG) maintained.

"There have been people in their 50s and 60s who have been run out of there as well.”

They were comments which sparked an outpouring of anger both online and through various communication channels to the Leader this week.

One reader took aim at the ongoing battle gardaí were having in their attempts to styme the unsavoury antics by some.

“Who in their right minds would be bothered entering or patrolling the area in question without armed protection,” he said.

Another contributor referenced a similar article penned by the Leader back in 2013 entitled ‘Mayhem, terror in housing estates’.

“Funny really, how a very similar article was ran back in 2013 too and no change.

“If it’s so bad who is to blame?!”

That was superseded by an exasperated resident who claimed he has been effectively left a prisoner in his own home.

He said since last month, a gang of young troublemakers have begun terrorising local residents through various coercive and intimidatory tactics.

“Since last month, groups of lads have taken over the area,” he said.

“They've placed concrete barriers in the road and spend every evening playing some class of game which involves throwing chunks of metal around the road. It is every night - up to midnight in a residential street filled with pensioners and young families, and often a dozen or more of them.”

Such was his level of nervousness over the issue and fear of possible retribution, the Leader has approved his request to remain anonymous.

Despite that plea, the resident said he was now looking to relocate elsewhere and warned of the long term repercussions facing the area unless swift and definitive action was taken.

“The gang is very intimidating in itself, but the noise is driving residents to distraction. It's impossible to sit at home with the windows open any more, even on the latch.

“It's absolutely soul-destroying to come home after a long, hard day's work and see this intimidating, noisy gang, knowing you will be getting no peace at all for the rest of the night, and no chance of sleeping until they decide to go away.

“Fortunately, I rent my house, and I am now looking at moving out of the town because of the constant irritation. But as long as people like this are allowed to intimidate, inconvenience and annoy decent people without any sanction from the authorities, areas like this are going to be unable to retain good residents, and will spiral into decline and neglect."