“TAKE action - otherwise we may form a vigilante group.” So warn O’Connell Square residents and business people in a letter issued to Mountmellick Town Councillors.
The letter complains of rowdy behaviour by youths in The Square into the early morning hours. When residents remonstrate with the culprits, they are met with a torrent of verbal abuse and told to, “Eff off back into your house.”
The residents insist, “The above behaviour must be stopped. And there is a possibility if it is not stopped by the proper authorities, the residents may form a vigilante group for the purpose of controlling and eliminating this behaviour.”
The letter sets out the complaints:
(1) Congregating from approximately 6.30pm each evening continuing up until 2.30-3am the following morning in large numbers which is intimidating to pedestrians walking through The Square, to residents entering or exiting their own premises and to customers of the businesses which are opened during these hours, and which is causing shoppers to go elsewhere, thereby causing a serious loss of income to these business owners.
(2) The behaviour also consists of some youths with cars which are excessively noisy due to having had their exhausts and silencers altered or modified so as to create a loud noise. These cars are continuously being revved up. In addition, these cars speed out of The Square in a very fast and dangerous manner and race up and down the main streets of the town. Further, these cars are often driven around The Square in a fast and aggressive manner, and using the handbrake in order to make the vehicle spin and drift, and which occurs mostly when the roadway is wet which is almost constantly.
(3) The drivers of these cars appear to have a following of younger boys and girls who loiter around the cars and are very vocal, thereby causing additional disturbance and nuisance.
(4) In recent nights, these youths have taken to playing football in the middle of The Square and at times there can be two or three footballs in play at the same time. These balls are hitting windows and cars and in addition are constantly going on to the street immediately adjacent to The Square, and which street is part of the national primary route N80. This causes cars and lorries passing through the town having to brake violently or take evasive action to avoid driving over or colliding with a football or the idiot running on to the road behind it.
(5) Car radios or CD players are played at a very high volume, which music is mostly of a heavy beat or rhythm and which is very annoying and can continue until 2.30am - 3.30am.
(6) The occupants of these cars and the youths hanging around same deposit large amounts of litter immediately adjacent to their cars, to that when they eventually leave The Square at approximately 3am, the locality is heavily littered. Little if any littering takes place in O’Connell Square outside the hours mentioned above.
The letter continues, “The above actions are causing huge distress and disturbance to the residents and business people in O’Connell Square. We constantly have to turn up the volume of our TV’s to maximum in order to hear the programmes and to drown out the noise coming from The Square. In addition, it is causing loss of sleep to children and adults and is interfering with people’s health and their ability to function to their full potential.”