Elderly ‘afraid to attend prayers’

Elderly ‘afraid to a

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Elderly ‘afraid to a

ELDERLY residents on the southside are afraid of attending evening prayers in a community garden - because youths are drinking there.

ELDERLY residents on the southside are afraid of attending evening prayers in a community garden - because youths are drinking there.

The Ballinacurra Weston community have been enjoying a garden for the last two years, on what was previously an overgrown patch of land on Clarina Avenue.

The garden - set up by the local residents alliance - contains a wall featuring photographs of well loved members of the community who have passed away.

Coupled with flowers and benches, it is intended as a space to relax and to reflect on life.

But in the last few weeks, it has been invaded in the evenings by groups of youths drinking, kicking footballs, as well as one incident of a horse being allowed to graze on the land.

It has left elderly people in the area who attend nightly prayers afraid to do so, says local resident Cathal McCarthy.

Matt Collins, chairman of the Ballinacurra Weston Residents Alliance, said he wants this problem to be “nipped in the bud” as soon as possible.

“It is not a place for congregation, it is a memory garden, it is based on the memories of dead people, and we would like people to respect this. We did not work hard on this garden for people to come along and decide to have a party here,” he said.

When he sees groups of youths, Mr Collins said, he calls the gardai.

But because the youths are congregating on public land, there is little they can do.

“It annoys you. You work hard on something and then this happens. I don’t know if the people sitting in this garden would like me to go and wreck their garden,” he asked.

He has a simple message for youths who are using the garden as a drinking den: “Do not do it here. I am not trying to pass the buck, but we do not want it done here. We won’t put up with it. I would ask them kindly to refrain coming down here, having a drink, or kicking the ball up against the wall, or bringing horses in.”

He said there is a fear there will be a repeat of the situation where the grotto in Our Lady of Lourdes was destroyed.

“I want my father to feel comfortable coming up to this area, and not to have to pass a load of idiots drinking,” he concluded.