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TD assaulted by joyriders

7 March, 2005

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh today described 'joyriding' as an "ongoing and potentially lethal problem" in the Ballyfermot area. The Dublin South Central TD made his comments after joyriders assaulted him near his home yesterday evening.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "On my return from yesterday's Ard Fheis at around 5pm I was nearly run off the road by joyriders who were driving extremely recklessly around the area I live and where there are always a lot of young children out playing.

"Concerned about the safety of not only my own children but also of the other kids on the road I challenged the occupants of one car to stop their activity but they sped off. I contacted the Gardai to alert them to the presence of joyriders in the area. I then approached the operator of an ice-cream van who was on the road at the time to warn him that up to four cars were being driven at speed around the area.

"It was while I was talking to this man that a second car came along. The car stopped because they couldn‚t get past the ice cream van. I approached the car to ask the occupants to stop because of the threat they posed to local children. It was then that one of the occupants got out of the car and punched me in the face. When other neighbours came out of their homes the joyriders left the area pursued by the Gardai.

"Joyriding in an ongoing and potentially lethal problem in the Ballyfermot area. Thankfully yesterday evening it ended in nothing more than a bloodied nose for myself. And while I would like to congratulate the Gardai for their prompt response I am still fearful that some young child is going to be tragically killed if we don't tackle this issue. Everybody - the community and the Gardaí - need to work together to bring an end to this scourge." ENDS

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