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'They won't take over this community - we've had enough'

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Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick

Fear is rampant in Drogheda amid the area's violent gang feud, but locals believe "people power" will overcome the problem.

Residents in the Co Louth town were cautious of talking openly about their concerns yesterday.

Some of those who spoke to the Herald asked to remain anonymous.

"I've been living here for more than 60 years and things have never been so bad," said an elderly local from Moneymore estate.

"Drugs have taken such a hold on these criminals that they have no value for life. It's only a matter of time before an innocent person is killed.

"However, I'm positive that they won't take over this community.

"The good people from this area have had enough and it's only through people power that we can stand up to these bullies."

Brian Fitzpatrick, senior manager of Moneymore FC, said the club's main aim was to keep the community's youth out of trouble.

"The few amenities we have in this town are letting a lot of young people down, but we're very confident that we're giving them something productive to do," he said.

"Our senior and junior teams are kept occupied during the week and have become really dedicated to the club.

"We're keeping them off the streets and out of trouble, which is something the locals really appreciate."

Fine Gael TD for Drogheda, Fergus O'Dowd, said the presence of armed gardai was essential.

Fearful

"People are very fearful due to these attacks and there is clearly a lot of intimidation locally," he said.

"The armed gardai in the town is essential to assure the public that they're protected. However, we need a lot more investment in disadvantaged areas in our town.

"We need so many more amenities if we're going to tackle this drug and antisocial problem head-on."

Davy McDonnell, principal of Drogheda Institute of Further Education, said his college helped to give people a chance to rebuild their lives.

"We provide training in all areas and are there for people who want to move their lives in a better direction," he said.

"The quicker this is resolved the better, because they're giving the town a bad name."