Vandals set playground on fire and force closure

By Maurice Garvey

MINDLESS vandalism at Willie Pearse Park in Crumlin has forced the temporary closure of the children’s playground.

Thugs set fire to the big slide climbing area, forcing the closure of the entire playground.

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Vandalism in Willie Pearse Park and (inset) the notice

Residents blasted the vandalism on social media, saying the good people of Crumlin suffer at the “vile hands of a few.”

Dublin City Council have boarded up the affected area and locked the gates pending repairs.

Sinn Féin councillor Ray McHugh claimed this was the third arson attack on the playground in the last four weeks, and called for extra garda patrols at the park.

Cllr Mc Hugh said: “There is no place in our community for people who are hell-bent on destroying the community. The people of Crumlin deserve better.

"I campaigned for many years to get this playground, with over 800 residents signing a petition for this facility.”

Roaming gangs

United Left councillor Pat Dunne said the vandalism was part of a pattern in recent years with “roaming gangs” stealing wheelie bins and setting them on fire in parks at Pearse, Stanaway, Sundrive and Brickfield.

“All our parks have been damaged this way,” said Cllr Dunne.

“These brats have no regard for our community. I am particularly upset as I lobbied so hard for many years to have playgrounds built in our parks.

"I have called upon gardai to put every resource into stopping this vandalism and charge those responsible.

“I have constantly raised this issue at the Dublin 12 local police forums. We see garda checkpoints regularly in this area. I have asked why they can’t use the same resources to patrol our parks and open spaces.”

Dublin City Council said they are “presently evaluating the extent of the recent damage to the playground in Willie Pearse Park and as such have no costings as yet.

“In the interest of health and safety, the playground will remain closed.”

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