Part of the damaged container at Griffeen Valley Park, where a fire lit by vandals destroyed nets from goal posts

ANTISOCIAL behaviour in Griffeen Valley Park is now “rampant”, according to Ballyowen football manager Zoe Poole.
Poole, who is the under-11s manager of Ballyowen Celtic Football Club, described to The Gazette how vandals set fire to a storage container, where the club keeps its goal posts and other football equipment.
She said: “They [vandals] set a fire in a gap underneath the container. There was a lot of smoke damage and the nets from the goal posts were destroyed.
“When we went back there [we noticed] they set another fire around the front [of the container].
“We have to get the whole place cleaned. The floor has been destroyed and we have to get it replaced. We can’t afford to get someone in to do it, so we’re going to try and hire a power washer.
“We’re asking the council to move it [the container] or to build fencing around it like the ones at Esker Park and Liffey Valley. I don’t think we’re asking for too much,” she said.
Poole also spoke about how teenagers in the park shout abusive slurs at the children from the football club while they are trying to train.
“While our kids are training, these guys are giving them grief, and when they’re going into their containers to get changed there is broken glass everywhere.”
Cllr William Lavelle (FG) has called on gardai and the council parks department to step-up efforts to tackle antisocial behaviour in Lucan’s parks – in particular, at Griffeen Valley Park.
He said: “Having visited the area, it was clear that there was a well-secluded den made in the hedgerow behind the container.
“There was evidence of regular drinking parties and bonfires, while club officials also told me they suspected drugs activity had taken place here also.”
A Garda source from Lucan Garda Station said they were aware of the incidents of antisocial behaviour in Griffeen Park and were investigating each case individually.
The source said: “We have a number of patrols in and around Griffeen Valley Park and all the parks [in Lucan], which are part of our patrol patterns. We would investigate instances of criminal damage or arson or major public order instances individually.
“We would hope that if the public see anything unusual or people acting in an unusual manner, that they would bring it to our attention as soon as possible.”
Cllr Lavelle said that this latest incident comes at the same time as an increase in complaints being reported regarding antisocial behaviour in Willsbrook and Hermitage Park, as well as regular incidents of antisocial behaviour in Lucan estates, including the egging of houses.
A spokesperson from South Dublin County Council said they will have to examine the proposed fencing-off or relocation of the container, and are appealing to anyone who witnesses antisocial behaviour in the park to contact gardai.
The spokesperson said: “The park rangers visit all of the parks [in Lucan]. They rotate from one park to another on a regular basis during their opening hours.
“With larger parks such as Griffeen Valley Park, the gates close between 4 to 4.30pm, depending on the time of the year.
“We would also ask people to contact the gardai if there is any evidence of antisocial behaviour, and the council will work closely with the gardai in matters such as this,” said the spokesperson.