Repeated arson attacks in Ballincollig Park leads to calls for benches to be removed

Repeated arson attacks in Ballincollig Park leads to calls for benches to be removed

The seats, which are made of recycled plastic, are said by City Hall, to be ‘difficult to set alight’ however despite this, it is not an uncommon occurrence in the 170-acre amenity park.

Four benches in Ballincollig Regional Park have been damaged in the first four months of the year, with a further five damaged last year in repeated acts of vandalism and arson.

The seats, which are made of recycled plastic, are said by City Hall, to be ‘difficult to set alight’ however despite this, it is not an uncommon occurrence in the 170-acre amenity park.

City Hall confirmed that one seat was burnt in April and another in March, with two more damaged earlier in the year.

There are 15 benches situated around the park.

Speaking about the ongoing issue, local Fine Gael Councillor Derry Canty said if it keeps happening maybe it is time to take out the benches altogether.

Cllr Derry Canty at the weir in the public park. /Pic; Larry Cummins, /Evening Echo staff /NUJ Photographer, Member of the Press Photographers' Association of Ireland. /www.eveningecho.ie
Cllr Derry Canty at the weir in the public park. /Pic; Larry Cummins, /Evening Echo staff /NUJ Photographer, Member of the Press Photographers' Association of Ireland. /www.eveningecho.ie

“It is pure vandalism and it is not fair. There is money being invested in that park and everyone loves it, but there is one small element of society doing this and ruining it for everyone.” 

 Mr Canty said he couldn’t understand why people were setting the benches alight.

“I don't know what kind of kick they are getting from it.” 

 The local councillor said it was a total disaster for the community. “People put their heart and soul into that park and the park rangers must be very upset by it."

City Hall said the Gardai are aware of the problem and they are liaising with them in relation to the matter.

A spokesperson for the local authority said: "Damage to seats is a recent phenomenon, with five damaged last year. Apart from specific damage to seats, the Park does not normally suffer from any other vandalism."

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