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Teen criminals causing misery for locals in Kenny's home town

A HANDFUL of teenagers are causing havoc in Taoiseach Enda Kenny's home town, with five of them responsible for all the new cases before the children's court last year.

One teenager was responsible for a quarter of all the cases heard in Castlebar, councillors were told at a meeting of the joint policing committee.

The offences include assaults and robberies.

A total of 108 cases were referred to the Garda Juvenile Diversion Programme last year.

Thirty-nine cases, or 36pc, resulted in prosecutions.

Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne called for action, saying businesses and residents in the town felt under threat.

"It's a major problem. These juveniles are well known in the area and they are a huge concern to everyone in the town," he said.

"It's difficult to know what to do. They have been up before the courts on a number of occasions, but it doesn't seem to make much difference.

"There are only five of them, and one is responsible for a quarter of these cases, that's close to 10 cases. Steps have to be taken to solve this issue."

Mr Kilcoyne said he wanted to see more anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs), issued at an earlier stage in a bid to prevent teenagers becoming serial offenders. He also called for more resources for gardai in tackling youth crime.

"The gardai do not have the resources to deal with this issue and that is a major concern," said Mr Kilcoyne.

Mr Kilcoyne is also calling for a debate on banning hoodies in Castlebar.

As revealed by the Irish Independent, he raised concerns that a number of robberies were being carried out by people wearing hooded sweatshirts.

Irish Independent