Marian Park residents feeling 'terrified and vulnerable' in homes
Garda chiefs vow crackdown on those entering 'the meadow'
Residents bordering The Meadow in Marian Park are being left 'terrified and vulnerable' by late night anti-social behaviour in the green space.
'Elderly people around the place are frightened of their lives,' a local resident told last week's Drogheda area Joint Policing Committee meeting in the Westcourt Hotel.
'People are sleeping with their lights on all night and these using the Meadow are coming out, shouting and roaring,' they added.
One of the main issues is that there is no lighting at The Meadow so everything is done under the cover of darkness. A number of youths have been spotted scaling the walls with backpacks. 'Who knows what goes on in there,' the concerned resident remarked. 'There has to be something done.'
She said a lot of the older people won't leave their homes after 6pm as they don't know who is outside.
The gardens at Marian Park lay derelict for 30 years before a campaign was launched in 1999 to transform them and in 2007 then Deputy Mayor Frank Maher cut the ribbon and opened the gates of the landscaped park tucked away in a quiet corner of the estate.
Even then, residents initially feared that re-opening the garden might attract anti-social behaviour problems, but 'with consultation' those difficulties were overcome.
The funding for the new park came from a variety of sources including the borough council and the Northern Ireland 'changing places, transforming communities' programme.
Expressing his determination to solve the issues at The Meadow, Chief Supt Sean Ward said the gardai will be working with the community.
'It is horrifying to think that there's elderly people who feel they need to keep their lights on all the time. We'll take whatever action we can. This is a serious issue because it impacts on quality of life,' he stated.
There were calls from the resident for lighting to be erected so people could see what was going on.
Joe McGuinness from Louth CC said he understood the problems but from experience said there was a 'fine balance' in relation to lighting as sometimes it attracted people to congregate, rather than solve the issue.
Community Gardai at the meeting confirmed they were aware of the issues and had attended following complaints in a bid to talk to those involved.