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Ball bombardment leaves west Belfast woman 'a nervous wreck'

Corrib Avenue residents Caroline Mullan and Stephen McCartney with some of the hurling balls that land in their garden from the nearby St Pauls GAA Club.
Marie Louise McConville

A WEST Belfast woman says she has been left a "nervous wreck" as a result of sliotars and footballs landing in her back garden from a neighbouring GAA club.

Corrib Avenue resident Caroline Mullan also called on St Paul's GAA Club, which recently underwent redevelopment, to remove a high wooden fence it erected along the back of homes and replace it with safety netting.

The popular west Belfast club put up high fencing last year following a major redevelopment which included installing a new 3G pitch and terracing.

However residents hit out at the plans and said the fencing would ruin their picturesque views across the city and the Mourne Mountains and called for wire mesh to be put up instead.

Ms Mullan, who lives with her 74-year-old mother and two nephews, said living at their home off the Shaw's Road, had become a "nightmare".

Describing the fence as an "eyesore" she said residents could see "nothing" from the back of their houses.

The problem, she said, had been exacerbated by a growing number of hurling balls and footballs coming over the fence into the back of her home.

"It's a nightmare, you are jumping out of your skin when you are making food in your kitchen," she said.

"You think it's a bomb going off, that's how loud it is.

"My mother has 18 grandchildren and when they come down, she can't let them out. When we are in the kitchen at night, we are going into heart failure. Does somebody need to take a heart attack before this is sorted out?"

The west Belfast woman said the problem would be sorted if St Paul's removed the fence and replaced it with netting.

Corrib Avenue resident Stephen McCartney with some of the hurling balls that land in his garden from the nearby St Pauls GAA Club.

"We want the fencing down because it is blocking our whole view," she said.

"It's a terrible eyesore."

In a statement, St Paul's GAC said it was willing to meet with residents to discuss any concerns.

"At all times, Naomh Pól CLG has acted in accordance with all aspects of planning legislation and guidance," it said.

"Naomh Pól CLG, as a community based club, is always willing to discuss the concerns of local residents on the basis to making the area a better place for all".

The view before the wooden fencing was erected last year. Picture by Hugh Russell.

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