'No concept of community and respect': Anger following vandalism in Cork town

Three picnic benches were set on fire in the early hours of this morning in the Regional Park, with one bench damaged beyond repair in the latest act of vandalism
'No concept of community and respect': Anger following vandalism in Cork town

Benches in Ballincollig's Regional Park were set alight

“THEY have no concept of community and respect,” said Ballincollig Tidy Town’s chairperson Tom Butler following the most recent vandalism of amenities at the Regional Park in Ballincollig.

Three picnic benches were set on fire in the early hours of this morning in the Regional Park, with one bench damaged beyond repair.

Mr Butler said the vandalism is a ‘kick in the teeth’ for everyone in the local community. 

“Everything that is done in Ballincollig is done for the betterment of the community. 

"This is a kick in the teeth for the Tidy Towns for the work that they do, for the City Council for the investment they have put into it, and for the people who enjoy this facility on a daily basis.” 

Benches in Ballincollig's Regional Park were set alight
Benches in Ballincollig's Regional Park were set alight

The BTT chairperson added the park is a great amenity in the local area and attracted more than a million visitors last year. 

He said he can’t understand the mentality of people who engage in this ‘mindless’ vandalism. 

“They were beautiful picnic benches. Up to ten people could sit at them. Over 1 million people visited the Regional Park last year. 

"It is used by people of all ages, and it attracts people from all over Cork."

“I can’t understand the mentality of people who do this mindless vandalism. They have no concept of community, of respect and you have to wonder what is going on in their brains to do something like this,” he added.

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher, said the vandalism in the Regional Park was ‘disgraceful’. 

“Three picnic benches were completely scorched, and one bench is damaged beyond repair. A mature tree was also scorched. This has happened before, and it is the second time one of the benches has been burnt. It is desperate and disgraceful,” he said.

Benches in Ballincollig's Regional Park were set alight
Benches in Ballincollig's Regional Park were set alight

Cllr Kelleher said he will be calling for CCTV cameras to be installed in the Regional Park at the next City Council meeting to deter future acts of vandalism. 

“I have mentioned before the possibility of CCTV cameras being installed but I think now we are at the stage of having to put them in which is a sad reflection on a public park."

“The benches will also have to be replaced with metal or concrete benches now. We are coming into the summer season and a lot more people will be using the park. I will be pushing to see if we can secure funding and have them replaced as soon as possible.

“We are fortunate we have the playground fenced off. We have a great amenity in the park. It is a template for public parks. People come from near and far to use the Regional Park,” he added.

The Lord Mayor of Cork, said there was a lot of ‘anger’ and ‘shock’ at the park this morning. 

“For children and parents to see that scene today is disappointing. The strong smell of smoke is poisonous. There is a lot of anger, shock, and disappointment amongst residents.”

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