SCREECHING tyres, revving engines and speeding cars have made the festive season an annual living hell for residents of Sleaty Road, Graiguecullen.
Residents this week spoke to The Nationalist about the problem of boy racers using the nearby Barrow Valley Retail Park, speeding their cars in the large car park and spinning doughnuts late into the night.
“The noise from the thing is just unbelievable,” complained one resident. “Three hours it was going on there on Christmas night, from 9.30pm until 12.30am and again on New Year’s Eve night. There’s elderly people living on this road and it’s frightening for them. The noise and screeching of tyres, doughnuts and the cheering, it was a total disturbance on what should have been a pleasant day and a relaxing family night – instead we get this noise.
“I didn’t even bother ringing the gardaí this year, as I have for the last three or four years,” he added.
It is understood that this annual ‘organised’ boy racer event is conducted late at night over the Christmas/New Year period annually, when all the businesses of Barrow Valley Retail Park are closed.
Residents told The Nationalist that during the recent gatherings a man was observed ‘on the lookout’ at the entrance to the retail park on Sleaty Road.
“It was dark, so it was very hard to see how many vehicles were there, but the noise was so loud. I tried to put up the sound on the telly to drown them out, but you could still hear them over that,” said a resident.
The vehicles are understood to have finally left the car park in a convoy, speeding en masse towards the Sleaty Road roundabout in the early hours of the morning.
“A neighbour told me there’s a video on YouTube of them all leaving,” said a resident.
Local residents believe the property owners should install barriers to stop this type of anti-social behaviour, which other retail parks across the country have done to increase security.
Barrow Valley Retail Park has traded since 2006, occupied currently by Dunnes Stores, Tyndall Clinic and Pharmacy, the Ivy Rooms, as well as a number of other occupied and unoccupied units. In early 2017, ten retail warehouses from the retail park, including the car park, were offered for sale by property agents ORE at a knockdown price of €1.5 million, on the instructions of receivers EY.
It is understood that the retail park was sold, but at the time of going to press the name of the new owners of the property could not be established.