Sallins residents seek help over anti-social behaviour

LABOUR TD Emmet Stagg has contacted the gardai to seek a solution to an anti-social behaviour problem in Sallins.

LABOUR TD Emmet Stagg has contacted the gardai to seek a solution to an anti-social behaviour problem in Sallins.

Despite the presence of a community garda in the canalside village, some residents feel that not enough is being done about local youths who have been blamed for damaging property at Sallins Town Centre and, in some cases, threatening residents there.

A list of complaints compiled by one resident Brian Fitzgerald includes claims that people have started fires and damaged post boxes, as well as vehicles parked in the area.

He also said that light fittings in the Sallins Town Centre complex have been broken and windows have been smashed.

“At times the only light we have here is when kids light fires. The appearance of the area has deteriorated and we are annoyed at the inaction of the authorities. Sometimes the gardai don’t come when we call them. If they do, they will move the kids on but they often return later,” Mr. Fitzgerald told the Leader.

Now he contacted politicians including Deputy Stagg, the Labour Party Chief Whip, and members of both Kildare County Council and Naas Town Council.

“I am hoping that something will be done and I have received responses from a few of these people with assurances that they will look into this,” Mr. Fitzgerald added.

He said residents have had enough and “we are at our wit’s end with this situation, and we are doing anything and everything we can to solve this issue.”

Sallins Town Centre, located closer to the village centre than The Waterways development and on the opposite side of the road, comprises some 11 commercial properties as well as 14 apartments.

Mr Fitzgerald said he has lived in the area since October 2009. “My next door neighbours have been here since 2007 and from day one we have been subjected to a campaign of vandalism by youths ranging from as young as 9 to 10 years old.“

He said graffiti is a problem and electricity and gas boxes have been damaged.

“There is drug and alcohol use at times and people have been verbally abused. An amount of litter has accumulated in the area and we feel that too much loitering is allowed to take place.”

He also said that external gates have been damaged as well as external fire detection systems. A wall has been knocked down and bicycles stolen.

“On one occasion, my next door neighbor answered her door only to find one of these individuals there, who then proceeded to throw a lit firework into her apartment. As you can imagine this is an unbelievably frustrating existence and three times in one day I have had to run these individuals off my property. They question me every time as if they believe they are doing nothing wrong,” he added.

“My neighbours and I, and even my father, contact Naas Garda station on an almost constant basis. However if and when the Gardaí do arrive these youths have usually moved on, which unfortunately just allows this cycle to perpetuate.”

Appealing to politicians for help, he said the residents love the area they live in but “the antisocial minority” are making it increasingly difficult to continue to want to live there.

Dave Moynan, a spokesman for Dep. Stagg said they have contacted senior gardai about the problem.

“What the residents have had to put up from some local young people is scandalous. Some of this behaviour is just unacceptable,” said Mr. Moynan.