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Thursday 23 November 2017

'I just want some peace' - neighbour of house singled out by vandals

The property in Finglas. Photo: Damien Eagers
The property in Finglas. Photo: Damien Eagers

A woman who witnessed a neighbouring house being vandalised by a mob has said she no longer feels safe in her own home.

The latest of a litany of incidents at the property on Cardiffsbridge Avenue in Finglas took place at about 5.30pm on Wednesday.

Previous incidents include shots being fired at the house and dead animals being discarded in the back garden of neighbour Rita O'Neill.

Ms O'Neill told the Herald she just wants to live in peace and said the situation needs to change.

It is understood that nobody has been living permanently at the property for some time.

Damage

In the most recent incident, locals saw a gang of up to a dozen men arrive on the street and set about smashing up the house with sticks and bats.

"They broke the windows and all the glass in the door, and I think they got into the house and caused a lot of damage," said Ms O'Neill.

"Windows in the back of the house were smashed too, and my garden ends up wrecked as there were people running through it.

"The fencing was smashed, the chairs were broken and the plant pots were all knocked over."

Ms O'Neill said she has complained to Dublin City Council in the past about other incidents of violence at the property and that she no longer feels safe in her home.

Some of the damage. Photo: Damien Eagers
Some of the damage. Photo: Damien Eagers

"Back in November, somebody pulled up on a motorbike and fired a load of shots at the car in the driveway of that house," she said.

"I've been picking up dead cats, dead rabbits and used condoms from my back garden that are thrown over the wall."

The house has been boarded up by the city council following this week's incident, but shattered glass and a broken broom handle could still be seen in the front garden.

"I just want to live in peace," said Rita. "That's the house where the singer Christy Dignam grew and his family were lovely.

"Mr Dignam used to make me an apple tart every Sunday, they were great neighbours," she added.

"I've been living here over 30 years and it was great having neighbours like the Dignams. I wish we had someone like them again."

Rita and another neighbour yesterday scheduled a meeting with local Sinn Fein representative Dessie Ellis.

They were due to meet this morning in the hope that he could urge the authorities to listen to their views.

"I've been here for more than 30 years paying my rent. Surely I have the right to live in peace," she said.

Gardai confirmed they were called to an incident at the house on Wednesday, in which criminal damage was caused.

Dublin City Council was not in a position to comment on the matter.

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