North County Leader

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Small Few Spoil It For All

Swords Park situated at the north end of the town hosts some beautiful amenities forSwords community and indeed people who work in the area or are visiting. The park boasts a fabulous modernised playground. However this playground is being used late at night for antisocial behaviour.

Local man Jonathan Nolan, and his daughter Ava (3) were horrified to find their localhaunt had been gutted by fire. Jonathan told the County Leader, “I’m quite put out about this as this is my local community. Ava is really upset she can’t play in the playground and it’s not easy trying to explain to a three year old how this has happened. We all messed about when we were young but to damage children’s facilities is just a step too far.” The fire was started when a wheelie bin was set on fire under the wooden climbing frame. When Park Rangers arrived the following morning the fire was still smouldering. Park Rangers told the North County Leader “The playground has become a gathering sight for anti social behaviour and by Sunday morning it’s littered with empty beer and cider cans and bottles. It was bad enough that we were coping with the graffiti and litter in the playground that is designed for children under 12.”It is estimated that it will cost the County Council in the region of €30,000 to fix the damage, however the Council said thatdue to the recent government restrictions on capital spending, they are unable to proceed with the repairs at this time. Cllr Darragh Butler,(FF) told the County Leader, “The Council are under severe budget constraints and it’s not going to

be easy to spend that kind of money, this means that other projects may suffer. In this day and age the perpetrators shouldn’t be able to get away with this sort of crime.”

Other disturbing news around the areais the issue of outdoor drinking at the Ward Rivervalley. Cllr Butler has confirmed that he will be raising the issue of outdoor drinking at the Ward Rivervalley with the County Council and Swords Gardaí. Gangs of drinkers have taken to drinking throughout the day and evening. They have even built their own hut for shelter and have an open fire also burning.

Cllr Butler stated that “ As the evenings are getting brighter more residence are taking advantage and getting out for a walk or a jog.

The main entrance to the park is beside where the hut has been erected and this is very intimidating to local residents. The hut is almost a designated drinking area where these drinkers are being left up to their own devices”.

“I will be asking the Parks Department of the County Council to remove the hut and makeshift seats and to clean up the area. I will also be asking Swords Gardaí to increase their patrols of the area and use their powers to arrest and remove those drinking at this location. I would ask parents to be vigilant and know where their children are at all times as the evenings are getting brighter and the summer is approaching” concluded Butler.