'Our two children were assaulted with sticks': Residents of Cork estate feel under siege in their own house

'Our two children were assaulted with sticks': Residents of Cork estate feel under siege in their own house

Last Wednesday, Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould raised concerns about antisocial behaviour in parts of the northside of Cork city during a Dáil debate on the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill 2021. Picture: Mike English

THE father of two boys who were assaulted near their Cork city home has spoken out about antisocial behaviour in his estate.

The man, who does not want to be named, said his sons, who are in their early teens, were assaulted by a group of young people who regularly walk through their estate on Cork’s northside.

He said: “Our two children were assaulted with sticks. The guys who did it called to our house the following night.”

They threatened to hurt the boys’ father. Neither boy needed hospital treatment but both were traumatised by the incident, as were their parents.

Their father told The Echo of antisocial behaviour incidents in the estate, including thefts from cars, theft of bicycles, and damage to scooters belonging to young children living there.

“Children as young as three and four years old are being verbally attacked.”

He added: “My boys also had their bicycles taken a few months ago.”

He said the problems are occurring because large numbers of people who do not reside in the estate use it as a short cut.

He continued: “They are doing quick, opportunistic crimes — rifling through cars that their doors have been left open. It is busier than Patrick’s St.”

He added: “It feels like being under siege in our own house. We cannot sell our home because we would not be able to buy another one probably in Cork city. But also, it should not have to come to that.”

Last Wednesday, Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould raised concerns about antisocial behaviour in parts of the northside of Cork city during a Dáil debate on the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill 2021. He told the Dáil: “People, children, families, and cars have been violently attacked, resulting in some families walking out, locking the doors of their homes, and leaving, because they felt so intimidated and fearful.”

He called for extra Garda resources ahead of the summer. Mr Gould has since told The Echo that he has received a lot of contact via email and social media since last Wednesday, from people concerned about antisocial behaviour in their areas.

He said he was aware of the issues in the estate where the two boys were attacked and said: “People there are telling me that nobody can leave anything out in their front garden because they are afraid they will be stolen or damaged.”

A Garda spokesperson is urging all victims of antisocial behaviour to report such crimes. He said: “Anyone who has been a victim of any crime is asked to contact their local Garda station.”

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