- Persistent anti-social behaviour taking place
- Community risks losing playground for good
Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe is to front a formal complaint to An Garda Síochána in relation to the ongoing issues with anti-social behaviour and vandalism at a community playground in Sixmilebridge.
A large number of local concerned citizens have been in contact with Deputy Crowe in recent weeks, pleading for action to be taken to bring this spate of activity to an end before the playground is lost for good.
“I’ve been up there a number of times in recent weeks to see first-hand the vandalism that has taken place at the playground,” said Deputy Crowe.
“I have seen large holes punctured into the plastic moulding of slides, which could very easily injure the children that they’re made for, I have seen where a fire was lit within a cubby house in the playground and on my most recent visit found traces of broken glass vodka bottles near the swings.
“I have met with some of the local committee that oversee it and have also spoken with many residents in Sixmilebridge who are upset, fearful and dismayed by the way a minority of troublemakers are holding the community to ransom.
“This playground was developed about 10 years and it includes some state-of-the-art equipment including a zip line, skateboard ramps and so much more – it really is a fantastic amenity when it’s not abused.
“But in recent months, children and young people have been deterred from playing there because of the extent of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
“The perpetrators are definitely a minority in the wider community but nonetheless it’s important that the community stands strong and gives a message that this won’t be tolerated.
“If this behaviour persists, there’s a very real risk that this playground will be removed and lost forever.
“Having spoken with a number of residents, I’ve decided to front a formal complaint to An Garda Síochána to ensure that an investigation is triggered.
“I hope that many local residents will feed into this process and provide the Gardaí with any information they have to help in the course of this investigation.
“I believe that many children and adolescents in the community will have an idea who is behind it and parents should try to illicit this information from them to report to the authorities.
“Thousands of euro worth of damage has been caused so far and the place is no longer safe for usage.
“I’m engaging with the community of Sixmilebridge and with Clare County Council to see if a source of funding can be found to undertake remedial works at the playground but this is contingent on the cessation of the anti-social behaviour – there is no point spending more taxpayers money if it will once again be destroyed.
“As a father of three young kids, my heart goes out to the families in the community who, for many years have loved using this facility.
“They are the ones losing out most of all and it’s for that very reason that the community must stand strong and ensure that those causing this trouble are taken to task.”