Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nuns' terror as cars set alight outside homes

Nuns living in Dublin's inner city are being terrorised by out-of-control youths who are intimidating them and burning cars outside their home.

A group of nuns who run the Deora Project Oasis Counselling Centre, which provides bereavement counselling, are being constantly exposed to cars being set on fire, and street drinking and drug taking.

Gerry Fay, chairman of North Wall residents association, told the Herald that last week eight car windows were smashed around the street where the nuns live.

"The pastoral care centre does tremendous work. It's very, very unfair to the nuns that have dedicated their lives doing good work. They live there. There's a small community of them -- there's three or four, and they've converted the whole convent into a pastoral care centre."

He added that the school children pass burned-out cars almost everyday on their way to school, and the school gates of a local girl's school have also been rammed by joyriding cars.

"There are burned-out cars in the area, and there is also a major drug problem. They're drinking openly on the streets, and the radios in cars are blaring music all night long."

He added: "They're congregating at a junction nearby and are selling drugs all night long."

A source close to the school also stressed that one of the bollards protecting the school against joyriders had been knocked down.


A garda spokesperson confirmed that they were investigating several incidents of criminal damage to vehicles parked on Lower Oriel Street and Laurence East Place on Tuesday. He said that no arrests had been made so far and investigations were continuing.

In the past 18 months, €48,000 has been spent on the daily cleaning of St Laurence Place East to remove the results of anti-social behaviour.

Gerry Fay stressed that the services of Dublin Fire Brigade were constantly needed to put out the car fires.

"People are traumatised," explained Gerry. "We had a North Wall forum last Thursday and the issue came up. It's come up before and it'll come up again. It's a long issue that's become endemic in the area."

Councillor Christy Burke said a car was burned-out on the street around two weeks ago.

"It's not nice for the kids going in to school and having the gates crashed into. About two weeks ago there was a burned out car, and it's a regular occurrence."

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