Lismore resident “at wit’s end” following car ramming incident

November 6, 2012

by Christine Keighery

A distraught Crossmaglen resident has spoken to The Examiner of his fears and frustrations at what he claims is an on-going campaign of anti-social behaviour at the hands of residents living nearby.

Mr Noel Kelly of Lismore, Crossmaglen was the victim of a criminal damage incident in the early hours of last Friday morning, when his car was rammed by another vehicle into a newly built wall Mr Kelly says he had erected, at his own expense, to protect his property from the antics of a local couple on the estate.

The man claims he and his partner have been subjected to months of abuse and disruption from the couple in question, who, he reports, are “well known to local police.”  Mr Kelly maintains that a catalogue of incidents involving these people has taken an indelible toll on his life and that of his partner, who is a nurse in Newry’s Daisyhill Hospital.

He says they have been left emotionally drained and depressed at the constant turmoil of dealing with disruptive and violent outbursts from the housing executive tenants who, he alleges, live an extremely turbulent lifestyle.

According to Mr Kelly, he is not alone in his condemnation of the anti-social behaviour, as he has been approached by other exasperated residents of Lismore who are seeking to have the alleged perpetrators removed from the estate.

“My partner and I are just ordinary people trying to live a quiet life but enduring this ordeal of constant sleep deprivation, threats and abuse, not to mention witnessing violent altercations by visitors to the house, is taking its toll on us both.  Life is pretty much unbearable and we really are at our wits’ end.” said the desperate resident.

“We had a wall built to protect our home against them setting their dogs to hurl themselves against our windows and to stop them encroaching on our property.  Now it’s in ruins too.”

Mr Kelly claims that, despite repeated intervention by police, constant complaints to the Housing Executive and pleas to remove the tenants from Lismore, nothing has been done and the “daily torment” continues. He has now turned to his local Sinn Fein representatives in an attempt to resolve the situation.

The Examiner contacted the Housing Executive regarding the alleged issues.  Their spokesperson said:

“The Housing Executive treats the issue of anti-social behaviour with the utmost seriousness and every reported incident is thoroughly investigated.  We have a number of measures at our disposal to deal with this issue, ranging from warning letters and mediation to Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, injunctions and Anti-Social Behaviour Orders.

“Although we seek to address anti-social behaviour through early intervention and mediation, in more serious cases we will not hesitate to seek repossession. The Housing Executive will investigate this recent incident and will take appropriate action in line with our procedures.”

In response to our queries regarding the various incidents reported by Mr Kelly, the PSNI issued an appeal for information regarding last Friday’s “car ramming” incident.

The statement read:

“Police in Crossmaglen are appealing for information following an incident in the Lismore area on Friday 2nd November.

“At around 1.30am police received a report that a vehicle had rammed a car parked at a house pushing it through the front wall of the garden causing considerable damage. The vehicle then made off from the scene.

“Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to contact police in Crossmaglen on 0845 600 8000.”

Councillor Terry Hearty also spoke to The Examiner regarding the matter.  Mr Hearty condemned the car ramming incident and the substantial damage it had caused and said he had visited Mr Kelly to survey the damage for himself.

The concerned Councillor added,

“Through regular public meetings which have been held for several months now, the community here have been able to iron out a lot of the problems the Lismore area was experiencing.  I would urge any residents facing difficulties in this area to come to the meetings and garner the support of their community and their representatives, who will endeavour to assist in any way possible.”