Derry residents plagued by drunk youths

image captionResidents said young people were gathering to drink in the park

Residents in a Londonderry estate have said their lives are being "made a misery" by gangs of young people.

They said between 50 and 100 youths gathered in Lowry's Lane Park on the cityside over the weekend until the early hours of the morning.

Police said they visited the area on Friday and Saturday night to speak to the youths, but saw no alcohol and no offences being committed.

Local resident Dermot O'Hara said it was "unacceptable".

"We've established a youth group to try and work with young people and give them an alternative to going down the lane," he said.

"But the groups that have been here this last few weekends aren't local. It's not acceptable for any community - the other night there was probably 100 drunken young people running about."

Fiona Donnelly, who lives in Glenwood Park, said residents should not have to put up with anti-social behaviour.

"It's not just youngsters, it's people coming in their cars, putting the radios on loud, opening the car doors, coming with carry-outs.

"There was people here of 12 and 13, as well as older people of 25 and 26 who should have more sense.

"When they left, the place was like a concert site, there was that many cans and bottles lying about the place. When I came out of Mass on I collected loads of bottles from the lane itself."

Another resident, Amanda Doherty, said the rubbish left behind also poses a danger.

"We all have very young children," she said.

"They used to go up and play football on the field and now they can't go on the field because of the bottles."

Sinn Fein councillor, Maeve McLaughlin, said there needed to be a "collective and immediate response" to the problem.

"I have been in touch with the council and the city engineers department to see if any measures can be put in place at Lowry's Lane that may go some way to help prevent much of what is going on," she said.

"Residents in Hatmore, Kylemore and Glen Road should be able to live in their homes without this nonsense happening on their doorsteps.

"Parents also have a heavy responsibility for what their children may be getting caught up in."