Sion Mills anti-social behaviour won’t be tolerated, warn community group

Thursday, 6 September 2018

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A COMMUNITY group in Sion Mills has warned those responsible for recent anti-social behaviour incidents within the grounds of a local church that it won't be tolerated.
On Sunday morning, churchgoers at St Theresa's Church were greeted by vomit and broken bottles as they made their way into the church.
Details of the unsavoury scene were relayed by community worker, Andy Patton, from Sion Mills Community Forum, on the group's Facebook page.
Describing the remnants of a night's drinking as "a new low", he said much good work had been done within the village to put an end to drinking on the grounds of another church.
He added: "For a few years now there has been a lack of respect for church grounds in our village and it took a lot of work on the ground to stop the 'street drinking' behind the Church of the Good Shepherd."
Turning to the incident at St Theresa's Church, he continued: "Over the past year, youths have been congregating at the front and side doors and eating food and drinking, leaving behind mess after mess. Our church groundsman, Anthony Arnold - who does a fantastic job - cleans up the aftermath and doesn't complain.
"We have worked with youths and had hoped this problem had stopped but it seems it has started again.
"Also cars pull into the church car park and eat food and throw their waste unto the church car park grounds - registration numbers are known."
Mr Patton said he is now urging that all church gates be locked after services in the future.
"There is no need for anyone to be taking a 'short cut' through the church grounds. If these gates are known to be locked the only people who should be on the church grounds should be attendees at church or those going to the graveyard to visit the graves of deceased loved ones.
"Also people should have respect and stop walking their dogs through the grass at the front of our beautiful church."
The community worker added: "We will be asking for the robust actions of PSNI in helping eradicate this problem immediately. We need villagers and parishioners to help in this also. If you witness actions such as this please contact us immediately or phone the PSNI on the 101 non-emergency line to alert them."
The incident has also sparked outrage with many locals taking to social media to express their outrage and disgust.


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