Northern Ireland

Lower Falls protest against anti-social behaviour

crowds
Image caption Residents said they have been "terrorised" by burglaries, drugs and car crime

About 200 residents of Belfast's lower Falls Road attended a rally against anti-social behaviour in the area.

It took place outside the Maureen Sheehan Centre on Albert Street at 19:00 BST on Thursday.

Residents said they have been "terrorised" by burglaries, drugs and car crime.

The Falls Road Residents' Association, which organised the event, called on local people to work together to tackle the problem.

It said parents of those involved had a "responsibility" to deal with their young, but offered assistance to those who "can't control their children".

Gerry McConville, who is the chair of the Falls Community Council, said life is "intolerable" for people in the area.

"We have to face the fact that many of those involved in this campaign of destruction are not strangers to us.

"Many are our neighbours' children and in many cases our own sons, daughters and grandchildren.

"We're here to say we have had enough," he told the assembled crowd.

Image caption Gerry McConville said such behaviour would not be tolerated in affluent areas such as the Malone Road

'Reign of terror'

"This shows how angry people in the area are that they have to come out onto the streets to protest this," he told the BBC.

"People won't be cowed into their own homes by these thugs' reign of terror.

"They haven't broken the spirit of the people in this area."

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