Two outspoken community activists whose home has been attacked have called for a multi-agency taskforce to tackle serious anti-social behaviour in their estate.
Catherine Coffey O’Brien and Terri Newman, who share a house at Lagan Grove, Mayfield, on the northside of Cork City, said they fear the estate could become a ghetto unless the issues are tackled in a coordinated way.
They spoke out after a string of serious anti-social incidents and assaults, which have seen a Polish family forced to leave their house, and a young mother also forced to flee with her children after being assaulted with a golf club.
Ms Coffey O’Brien and Ms Newman’s house was pelted with stones, and had several windows broken, after they spoke out publicly about the problems in their area.
They said following a meeting with senior gardaí in recent days, patrols have been stepped and incidents of anti-social behaviour have decreased. But they said a long-term solution is needed.
The cited several results of what they said was the “neglect” of Mayfield by state agencies — including torture of animals, theft, vandalism, drug dealing, assaults and arson.
“We have seen firsthand the breakdown of our community. We are being stereotyped due to the actions of a few.
“The neglect has given an air of despair, generations have and will be written off because of the attitude of the powers that be,” Ms Coffey O’Brien said.
They said the taskforce should include public representatives, Cork City Council, the HSE and the Department of Social Welfare, and they called for a community forum.
At a council meeting last week, the city’s head of housing, Valerie O’Sullivan, urged residents to make statements to gardaí to enable the authorities to act on problem tenants.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved