CORK County Council has been urged to restrict teenagers access to playgrounds unless accompanied by a minor.
Carrigaline Councillor Seamus McGrath has said playgrounds should be reserved for children under the age of 12 and those with special needs.
He has also requested that signage be erected at one local playground and possibly other playgrounds in the Ballincollig-Carrigaline municipal district to prohibit access after dark in accordance with existing bylaws.
He asked that access to public playgrounds be prohibited to those over the age of 12 to ensure the use of the grounds for younger children and those with special needs.
“The issue of youths in the playground, even during the daytime is a problem. Putting a sign up saying nobody should be in the playground after dark or after dusk isn't going to solve that unless we improve signage,” he said.
“Only this week I was in the vicinity the playground and there were youths in there, certainly over the age of 12, maybe 14 or 15 on the equipment using it and to be perfectly frank, abusing it. That shouldn't be permitted and we don't have any signage to indicate that it is for younger children. It should be spelled out.
“As well as causing damage to equipment, it can be quite intimidating to have gangs of youths in there during the daytime,” he added.
Cllr Michael 'Frick' Murphy (SF) said this was also happening in Passage West playground and supported Cllr McGrath's calls, while Independent Cllr Marcia D'Alton said more cooperation was needed from gardaí in relation to enforcing current bylaws.
“I have on at least two occasions gone into the park and asked youths to leave. It continues to be an ongoing issue in Passage,” she said.
“Damage has been caused in the past. They seem to specialise in wrapping the swings around the top bar where nobody can reach them.”