A BIG belly bin was removed from the Little Tern playground in Kilcoole due to consistent vandalism.
There have also been reports of underage drinking, fireworks being set off, and intimidatory behaviour towards parents with young children who are trying to use the play equipment.
Residents said that youths are bringing bags of alcohol in the evenings, playing loud music and having all-night drinking sessions.
The matter was raised at a meeting of Greystones Municipal District last week when Cllr Tom Fortune was asking if a bin could be found for La Touche place in Greystones.
District engineer Ruari O’Hanlon said that the Kilcoole playground bin had been set on fire and ‘absolutely trashed’.
Each big belly bin in the district came at a cost of €5,000, he said.
Cllr Jennifer Whitmore asked if CCTV at the playground was an option. She said that a small number of people have caused problems at the playground. ‘No matter what people do - call the community garda or talk to them - it doesn’t seem to solve any issues. This is behaviour which is difficult to stop.’
District manager Michael Nicholson said that there must be caution with CCTV at playgrounds. ‘ There was a time we were told we could never do it. Not apparently it can be used in certain circumstances.’
Cllr Derek Mitchell asked if it could be put on the agenda for next month’s garda meeting. Cllr Grainne McLoughlin said that a couple living nearby said they would never have bought their house had they known what they faced. She said she tried to speak to youths there and they told here to f-off. She has also rang the gardai numerous time.
Cllr Tom Fortune said that it is a smashing playground, and it’s a shame this is happening. ‘It’s being destroyed by a handful of people,’ he said. Cllr Gerry Walsh mentioned a sub-committee for CCTV funding, looking at locations for installation. He and Cllr Lawless are members.
Cllr Lawless said that they would get a report from that committee for the next meeting.
Members mentioned the possibility of banning over-12s, which Cllr Whitmore said would be a shame.
Little Tern Playground in Kilcoole.
Cllr Tom Fortune
Cllr Grainne McLoughlin