Gardaí are examining photographs and videos of a gang who “terrorised” residents of a Cork city housing estate on St Patrick’s night.
It is the second time in two weeks that residents of the Old Quarter area of Ballincollig have been subjected to intimidating antisocial activity.
Several homes and a car were damaged on March 5 and 6 after rocks were thrown over a boundary fence between the Miller’s Court area of the estate and the town’s vast regional park.
Netting behind goalposts on a nearby sports field was torched in a suspected arson attack a few days later.
And on St Patrick’s night a gang of up to 25 young people rampaged through the estate between 10.30pm and 1am.
One local resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said he and his neighbours feel they have been terrorised over the last two weeks.
“We are incredibly concerned for the safety of our family and our homes,” he said.
“The fire brigade came and the people who lit the fire were heard shouting at the firemen as they put out the flames. We called the gardaí too but they never came.
“Stones were thrown at windows of cars and thousands of euro of damage was done to many houses adjoining the park.
“Last week, we found several beer bottles behind our cars and we almost drove over them when we reversed.
“On St Patrick’s night, after weeks of similar behaviour, a gang of up to 25 teenagers jumped the wall from the park and got access directly to Old Quarter.
“They were shouting, swearing, dropping beer bottles, urinating, fighting with each other, kicking a football off cars in the estate.
“Given the current climate, we had major concerns for a couple of young girls that were in the middle of this bunch of teenage boys.”
He said those involved were aged between 18 and 21, that one of them is a third level student, and that another is a young mother.
Photographs and videos of the activity have been shared with gardaí and with the town’s three city councilors.
FF Cllr Colm Kelleher, chairman of the city’s Joint Policing Committee, said there have been some antisocial activity in the 300-acre park recently which has seen park benches burned and playground equipment damaged.
But he said it is concerning that this activity is now spilling over into adjoining estates.
"The gardaí have told me they plan to step up patrols in the area but it’s a huge park and we can’t patrol it all the time," he said.
"But I have asked city officials to consider installing CCTV cameras at hot-spots or at certain access points to act as a deterrent."
“I have also asked the council to consider replacing some of the saplings at the boundary wall between the park and Miller’s Court with mature shrubs to prevent people climbing over the wall.”
He said residents should be able to relax in the privacy of their own homes without having to worry about this kind of carry-on.