Anti-vandal fences last just a single day

by Sylvia Pownall
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SOUTH Dublin County Council has admitted it is having “continuous problems” maintaining the boundaries on a tract of land at Clonburris earmarked for housing.
The unused green area has become a black spot for joyriding and became notorious for abandoned horses, though no animals are believed to be on site, at present.
The local authority has made repeated efforts to secure the boundaries, but a fence erected just weeks ago lasted less than a day before it was breached.
A council spokesperson revealed: “The council’s environment, roads and economic development departments have made repeated efforts to secure the boundaries to these lands by way of erecting fencing, placing boulders, concrete blocks and mounds of clay.
“However, there have been repeated encroachments through these boundaries onto lands for anti-social behaviour purposes, with the most recent fence erected on August 24 surviving less than 24 hours.
“The council is currently re-examining its options in this regard, as it is not viable to repeatedly repair and reinstall fencing at these locations.”
Images supplied by the council show barriers completely torn down and, in one case, the barriers cut in two.
The fields off the Fonthill Road form part of a 240-acre tract of land which is zoned for a significant urban development and are expected to deliver in excess of 8,000 houses.
SDCC is now working in collaboration with animal welfare groups, its own contractor and the DSPCA on how to best deal with the issue of horses on the land.
It has removed 86 burnt-out cars so far this year, with 27 taken out in a single day in August.
So far, 27 horses have been removed from the fields in 2017.
A council spokesperson said: “We are satisfied that there are currently no immediate welfare issues for the horses – fodder and water is available – but our main priority toward them is about provision of secure boundary treatments which will prevent access by vehicles which enter and subsequently chase the animals.”
The situation at the Clonburris land – one third of which is owned by the council, with the rest in private ownership – has escalated partly as a result of successful efforts to tackle similar issues with cars at nearby St Cuthbert’s Park.
However, boulders in place to prevent joyriders accessing the park in Bawnogue have also been repeatedly removed by vandals. The issue is due for discussion at the next meeting of the Friends of St Cuthbert’s Park group next Wednesday.

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