'This has got to stop'

Dónal Nolan

Residents of a Listowel estate, who looked on in horror as a family feud erupted into a tense encounter involving more than 20 people outside their homes on Friday, are calling for tougher laws to police anti-social behaviour.

One man was arrested by gardaí in response to Friday's feud at the Feale Drive estate in Listowel,  which occurred after a number of videos of men goading each other into combat were shared widely on social media.

Most residents were appalled by the incident, with one woman even bundling her children into the family car and driving out of the area as the fight flared.

"This would not have happened if the existing anti-social behaviour policy was more effective as there has been a number of smaller incidents over the years that were not addressed. It has to stop," Sinn Féin County Councillor and resident Tom Barry said.  

"Most of us are working hard to improve the image of our estate, so we're really upset to see something like this. The anti-social legislation has to be looked at now to ensure gardaí and council officials can work more closely together to nip problems in the bud," Cllr Barry said.

"At present the anti-social behaviour policy isn't worth the paper it is printed on - you only have to look at the fact that just one eviction has been carried out under it over the past five years in the whole county."

"The council's initial response that this was not a matter for the authority, as it happened in a private house, is also not good enough. It happened in a social housing estate, affecting many, many law-abiding council tenants," Cllr Barry added.