VIGILANTE behaviour was “strongly discouraged” by the Gardaí at a Community Safety Forum (CSF) meeting in Farranree last night after a number of frustrated locals said they saw no other solution to anti-social behaviour and unruly gangs.
A number of residents who attended the meeting spoke of their frustration at problems being faced in the area, including anti-social behaviour, unruly gangs of youths drinking in Farranferris Green, known locally as Popham’s Park, and the constant burning of wheelie bins.
Large unruly parties in the park and the use of scrambler bikes were also raised as concerns.
Inspector Adrian Gamble said gardaí fully accept there is an issue in the area, adding: “it is our number one target.”
"We know it is a major problem, We will be targeting the park.”
Inspector Gamble added: “I think on two or three occasions there were very strong and vocal members of the community and they are saying things out of frustration.
“But I would always say, we do not encourage vigilante behaviour, to contact to your local Garda. It is a matter for us and let us take it on board, rather than letting the general public take the law into their own hands. I would strongly discourage that.
“People have to be patient, they have to give us the opportunity to go back and solve the problems.”
Local Fianna Fáil Councillor John Sheehan said the words of the residents showed a high level of frustration and it was up to the authorities to respond to the needs of the local community.
“Obviously you wouldn’t be encouraging anyone to do that, but I think what happens is when you are going through the same thing again and again and they see no results and that is sort of a failure of the system.” They see nothing happening and when they see nothing happening repeatedly that frustration builds up and I think it places a challenge on the authorities from all sides to up their game.
Because if there is a gap left and if people feel they are ringing and nothing is happening and the same things are happening, again and again, that frustration is going to build up and until something does happen which we have seen over the years with drug dealing in Dublin and other areas so the system has to react to that frustration.”