Ballyfermot unrest: 'Parents have to be to blame' for their children's behaviour

A missile was thrown at a Garda, while a number of patrol cars were also damaged
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

18.39 21 Feb 2023

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Ballyfermot unrest: 'Parents h...

Ballyfermot unrest: 'Parents have to be to blame' for their children's behaviour

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

18.39 21 Feb 2023

Share this article

Parents should be to blame for unrest seen in Ballyfermot in Dublin, one local resident has said.

It follows an incident on Monday in the area, in which a Garda was injured after being surrounded by a group of young people.

A missile was thrown at the Garda, while a number of patrol cars were also damaged.


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he is concerned about the normalisation of violence against people in Irish society.

These people in Ballyfermot told Newstalk's Barry Whyte for The Hard Shoulder they were appalled by what happened.

One woman said it does not represent the area.

"I think it does bring down the area, because there are a lot of nice people and good people in Ballyfermot," she said.

"It's just certain people, the way they carry on, youngsters and everything.

"It's just disgraceful the way they attacked them.

"I think it's all the same group that are doing it because they know they're getting away with it - because there's not enough Garda in the area."

Another woman, who was asked who was to blame for the unrest, said parents have to be accountable.

"I think that was disgraceful," she said.

"Their parents, that's my opinion anyway, I think it's their parents.

"It has to be parents, they have to know what they're up to."

'They don't respect anybody'

The woman said locals people are unhappy about what is happening.

"We don't want it," she said.

"I'm Ballyfermot born and reared, all my life I've lived in Ballyfermot, and we never had [this].

"You'll always get something, but not what's going on now.

"I don't care what anyone says: their parents has to [be to] blame.

"They don't respect anybody, they've no respect for anybody," she added.

'Nobody supports that'

Fiona Kearney is from the community organisation FamiliBase, which is based in Ballyfermot.

"That type of behaviour, nobody supports that," she said.

"The vast majority of families, young people, residents are opposed to that type of behaviour and it impacts them".

She said such incidents should not be seen in isolation.

"The wider context is that some young people involved in these incidents - and it wasn't only young people - 10 years ago or five years ago you're trying to refer them to appropriate services, whether they be mental health, addiction."


Ms Kearney  said there have been cuts to several areas.

"We can't talk about this stuff without talking about... cuts to drugs taskforce services, we've had cuts to youth services.

"We really need to look at resourcing the community and voluntary sector to do the job on the ground."

Ms Kearney said this should also be the case for statutory services, such as child protection and mental health.

"When we refer young people and they sit on waiting lists for two years, we lose opportunities to intervene," she said.

"Then we have 15, 17 or 19-year-olds acting out and behaviour that isn't OK.

"We have to ask ourselves why; if we neglect communities for years and years, this is the result," she added.

Listen back to the full segment below:

Main image: Screenshot of the incident in Ballyfermot, Dublin. Picture by: Twitter/@dubslife1

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Ballyfermot Ballyfermot Unrest Barry Whyte FamiliBase Fiona Kearney Leo Varadkar Parents The Hard Shoulder

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