herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Families in fear as teens named on 'crime list'

Niall Collins
Niall Collins

Families in Tallaght are today living in fear after their children’s names were released at a community meeting alleging they are involved in anti-social behaviour and intimidation.

 

A list of 15 names of young males aged between 13 and 18 was circulated at Fettercairn Community Centre last Wednesday night at the gathering organised by Fianna Fail.

The political party has distanced itself from the development and said they do not know who spread the typed sheets with the names, house numbers and street addresses.

A manager in the centre who spotted the lists destroyed them when they were found, but it is unclear how many people may have picked one up or seen it elsewhere.

Now the families fear they will be targeted by vigilantes.

“We have been told we will be burned out of our house, and that kids will be dragged into vans,” one mother whose son’s name appears on the list told the Herald.

“It is shocking to think that anyone could do this, putting the names of children on a list and circulating it saying they are criminals.

“My son’s name should not be on that list but now he has been branded in the community,” said another worried mother.

Some of the parents had heard about the list, but others said they had not known until they were told by this newspaper.

“A tall man with dark hair was seen delivering the leaflets and then leaving,” said one worried local woman.

“What we need now is for the management of the community centre to go back over their CCTV and bring any footage of this person to the gardai.

“This is defamation as far as I’m concerned,” she added.

“My son has no charges against him, has had no complaints from the gardai, and has no JLOs (Juvenile Laison Officer reports), but his name is on that list. It is wrong,” said a concerned mother.

The meeting was organised by Fianna Fail to discuss

burglaries, thefts and drug-related crime.

It saw around 60 residents raising their concerns about crime in the area from anti-social behaviour, to break-ins and vandalism.

At the often-heated meeting, hosted by party justice spokesman Niall Collins, residents were critical of what they saw as a failure by politicians and gardai to tackle anti-social behaviour.

“Yes, people are concerned about crime and anti-social behaviour in the area, and they are right to be, but this list is the wrong way to go about solving it,” one mother said through tears at her kitchen table.

“The local sergeant has told me that they are aware of reports of older teens in the area preying on the younger ones to deliver drugs and things for them.

“They say they will burn their mother’s cars if they don’t do it,  but then if the younger ones do what the older ones tell them out of fear then they are asked to keep doing it, and then the next thing is they are on a list like this and there are vigilantes at the door,” she added.

Mr Collins said he did “not have a clue” where the list came from and said he did not know any of the teenagers named.

The Limerick TD said if he was given the list he would have passed it to gardai.

“What I advised people at the meeting is if they have issues they need to bring it to the attention of gardai through proper channels and they need to document it as well,” he                       said.

“The community needs to engage with the gardai. It’s a two-way process,” he added.

Fine Gael MEP and former Dublin South West TD Brian Hayes said parties should be “very careful” not to name

people at public meetings.

“Any of these type of thing need to go to gardai – they are the only appropriate people to investigate issues of anti-social behaviour,” he said.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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