Nighttime arson attacks in the Ballincollig Regional Park need to be tackled by radical action, local councillor Derry Canty has said.
Bins and benches have been set alight in recent days as gangs are thought to be meeting up at night in the scenic public amenity.
“It is very hard to lockdown the Regional Park, it is so big and so open, even in a full lockdown it would be very difficult to close it off, something radical needs to be done.”
Mr Canty called on parents to take control of their children and stop them going out at night, meeting their friends and committing crimes just as arson and vandalism.
“All the adults are at home, trying to do their bit to fight the virus and these juveniles are meeting at night, looking for devilment.”
The Ballincollig councillor said he understood that these were unprecedented times and unusual circumstances, but said that more needed to be done to control these young adults.
“It is totally and utterly disrespectful what they are doing and these are replacement benches, this is not the first time it has happened.”
Mr Canty said with the nurses and doctors on the frontline pleading with people to stay home it was obvious some people couldn’t care less.
“What can you do? It is heartbreaking to see the fire brigade called out there time and time again, the park is for everyone. They are ruining an amenity that is for everyone.”
The councillor suggested a security team be hired to patrol the park but warned that one person would not be enough.
“If one person was in there and they went up against a gang of youths, there could be trouble.”
Mr Canty called on parents to speak to their children, emphasising the importance of social distancing, staying at home and slowing the spread of Covid-19.
“I am really worried about it at the moment, I don’t know what we are going to do," he said. "These people couldn’t care less, it is a case of out of sight, out of mind.
“I would urge parents to speak to their children, that’s all I can ask them to do, speak to them and try to get them to understand.”