Harryville community stand united after recent increase in youth antisocial behaviour
A recent increase in antisocial behaviour in
the Harryville area by a group of youths has been met with anger by the tight-knit local community who have said today, “Harryville has had enough”.
But it was an incident over the weekend when ‘Ghost Tommies’ were torn down and destroyed by a number of young people who had congregated in the area.
The Ghost Tommies were made by residents, and were erected on the slopes of the Moat Hill as a memorial to the many troops lost in war.
A member of the Harryville Neighbourhood Watch group commented: “In response to yesterday's antisocial behaviour in Harryville by underaged teenagers (and we know they are not all kids from Harryville - they are coming from Cullybacky, Antrim and Galgorm), this has to STOP.
“A lot of community groups, local men and woman, have now come together to put a stop to this antisocial behaviour. We will be out and about to sort this behaviour. It will not be tolerated. So parents, please let your kids know Harryville has had enough.
“Last night was the straw that broke the camel’s back with the Ghost Tommies”.
The group have appealed for anyone who would like to contribute to the fund to replace the memorial, to donate via PayPal:
Earlier today (Sunday 28 February) a Harryville family got to work and cleaned up the mess left from the night before.
The community have also been cleaning up after a crowd of young people who have been gathering at the Wakehurst Road football pitches.
Dedicated local councillor, Rodney Quigley, has been on the ground helping clean up, alongside the community and members of the Raglan Homers and Southside Rangers football teams.
Councillor Quigley responded to the ongoing issues, saying:
“Over the last number of months there has been far too much antisocial behaviour in Harryville, especially around the Wakehurst football pitches and Moat Hill.
“This last two weekends a crowd of upwards on forty young people have been torturing the the local residents, and this came to a head last night when the silhouettes of the soldiers on the Moat Hill were completely wrecked, and last weekend glass bottles were broken on the football pitches at Wakehurst.
“The glass on the football pitch could cause a footballer to sustain a very serious injury. Dog walkers who use the pitch to exercise their dogs could end up with their pets receiving a fatal cut.
“A police car window was also broken yesterday when one of the crowd threw a bottle.
Continuing, Cllr Quigley said:
“This antisocial behaviour has gone on for far too long now and this week I will be meeting with the PSNI and community reps to discuss what can be done to stop this wanton destruction in the Harryville area.
“Most of these youths are of school age and I feel that there is a responsibility on parents to know where their children are as on many occasions cars are seen dropping them off.
“Can I remind parents that we're in the middle of a pandemic and that essential travel only is permitted and large outdoor gathering are prohibited.
“I would encourage anyone who has information as to who was involved with the antisocial behaviour to contact myself or PSNI so that it can be brought to an end.”