Councillor warns on trend of playground vandalism

Councillor warns on trend of playground vandalism
Cllr. Mick Nugent standing in the childrens playground at Glenamoy Lawn park, Mayfield, Cork, which was damaged by fire. Picture Dan Linehan

FEARS have been raised that the targeting of playgrounds and parks by vandals is becoming a growing trend.

In the latest incident, vandals broke locks at Glenamoy Lawn Park playground in Mayfield and set rubbish alight in a litter bin.

The rubbish was placed inside plastic tubing that links a slide in the playground to part of the four-unit multi-tower play structure.

The fire caused the tubing to melt, rendering the play equipment unusable, and causing €3,000 worth of damage.

Damage at Glenamoy Lawn Park playground in Mayfield.
Damage at Glenamoy Lawn Park playground in Mayfield.

Graffiti was also sprayed on equipment that the City Council had only installed in November. The local authority invested €35,000 in playground improvements before Christmas.

City Council workers visited the park yesterday to clean up the mess and make the area safe, but the play equipment remains unusable by kids.

Stephen Scully of City Hall’s environment and recreation department, said this was an “isolated incident” at Glenamoy. However, a number of playgrounds in the city and county have been the subject of vandalism in recent months, including playgrounds in Passage West, Fermoy, and at Pophams Field in Farranree.

Councillor Mick Nugent (SF) said vandals who are convicted should have to face the communities they are damaging.

“This is becoming a trend of parks and playgrounds being targeted. If people are caught for these things they should have to explain why they are targeting these parks. It totally defies logic.

“There is a community safety forum at St Joseph's in Mayfield soon and I'm sure residents will be raising the vandalism,” he added.

Glenamoy resident and Labour area representative John Maher described the vandalism in Mayfield as “senseless”.

“There was a bin in the park and it's only small. They took out the inner of the bin, which had very little rubbish, but it was enough to melt the tubing and cause the damage. It's the worst part to damage because it means that the kids can now not use it.

“It's stupid behaviour. A number of local residents have told me they are very annoyed by this.

“The company that put in the park have said they are going to repair the damage as soon as they can,” he added.

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