Vandals damage Griffeen Valley Park yet again

by Mark O'Brien
Damage to swings in Griffeen Valley Park

Calls have been made to install CCTV in Griffeen Valley Park after vandals once again damaged the playground in the park.

The playground has repeatedly been the target of anti-social behaviour, with the latest incident occurring last week when swings were damaged by fire.

Local councillors passed a motion last year calling for higher fencing to be erected at the playground but this was rejected by the council.

Residents called for CCTV following the latest incident.

Writing on the Lucan Life Facebook page, one local said: “Without CCTV this is just going to keep happening.

“A nice hefty fine for trespassing when the playground is closed and it’ll pay for itself.

“A reward for evidence that leads to the culprits being caught/prosecuted will help.”

Another added: “Someone has to be accountable for this vandalism…CCTV a must or it’s just going to keep happening.”

A resident who lives near the park said anti-social behaviour was keeping her awake at night.

She said: “4am in the morning they were shrieking and screeching over there and you can hear the, what sounds like metal clanging and banging constantly.

“It’s several nights a week now all summer. Sick of listening to them.”

A council spokesperson said the issue of vandalism is taken very seriously and they continuously work to prevent it but would not be installing CCTV.

The spokesperson said: “When designing play facilities, we concentrate primarily on using suitable materials rather than on fencing to restrict entry and there is also an emphasis on restricting potential for anti-social activity through choosing locations carefully, ensuring openness and visibility and selecting very robust equipment.

“Regrettably, the council confirms a recent escalation of incidents at this location, and other play spaces across the county, with the most recent vandalism occurring at Griffeen Valley last night.

“Fire damage has been caused to swings and bins and subsequently to the wet pour – the rubber surface that gives a high quality, hard wearing slip resistant surface underfoot.

“The council will continue to repair/replace equipment to ensure that our facility remains open for the enjoyment of the neighbouring children.

“We have a close relationship with local gardai across the county, who have given a lot of resources to preventing problems in/at our facilities.

“We will continue to cooperate with AGS, and the public at large, in the management of this anti-social problem and confirm that CCTV is not the panacea to such activity.”

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