For the first time in living memory a crime has been reported on Rathlin Island, off the north Antrim coast.
Mary Cecil, owner of a diving business on Rathlin Island, says a group of teenagers from the mainland stole a car from outside a guesthouse and went joyriding around the island, before dumping the vehicle in the harbour.
Two lifeboats were sent from the mainland, the police were involved and her husband had to do a dive to ensure there were no victims in the car.
This incident seems to be part of an increasing trend. Due to a new ferry service, Rathlin Island is now completely accessible, and the growing numbers of visitors is taking a toll on island life.
The same as everywhere in the world, where you open up places previously inaccessible places, it brings about profound changes.
Petty-pilfering, break-ins, alcohol and drug abuse are on the rise, islanders have no choice but to lock their doors and take the keys out of their boats.
You just can’t leave your property unprotected now, it’s just a very sad thing.
Recently a stag party group arrived on the island without any accommodation arranged.
They just stayed up all night and my young daughter seen naked men running around the garden.
Mary believes the lack of a police station or police officers on Rathlin might make seem an attractive spot for troublemakers. The islands Arranmore and Tory, both off the west coast of County Donegal are to get a Garda officer for the first time, and it looks a police presence will also be necessary on Rathlin Island, particularly during the summer seasons.
A ‘Morning Ireland’ report broadcast on 23 July 1997. The presenter is Áine Lawlor.