Councillor told to ‘eff off’ and mind his own business

By Maurice Garvey

A COUNCILLOR who confronted a large group of youths, who were preparing to burn tyres in a park, was told to ‘eff off’ and mind his own business, reports Maurice Garvey.

Sinn Féin Cllr Ray McHugh was responding to phone calls from residents about anti-social activity in Willie Pearse Park in Crumlin last month.


Sinn Féin Cllr Ray McHugh

Vandalism in late July, forced the temporary closure of the children’s playground after thugs set it on fire.

The playground has been partially re-opened but McHugh says estimates to repair the slide and mini obstacle course is in the region of €23,000.

A significant part of the problem boils down to a gang of youths, aged between 10-18, according to McHugh.

“It is no good talking to the parents, they know and don’t care,” he said.

“The same group have been around for three to four years now, aged between 10-18 – the younger ones doing the mischief because they know they won’t be prosecuted.”

During the recent bank holiday weekend, McHugh said he was contacted by residents who saw youths carrying 20 tyres into the park.

“I contacted gardai at 6.15pm that night but they didn’t arrive until 8.45pm. Gardai dispersed them but didn’t actually pick up the tyres, and at 10.30pm, I got another call to say they were bringing in more tyres. At 11.30pm, the tyres were set on fire on the gaelic pitches.

Cllr McHugh continued: “Obviously at that hour of the night there is no council staff on duty to collect these tyres. I went to the park. There was about 20-30 of them there, and they more or less told me to ‘eff off’ and mind my own business.

Terrorising the park

“What we have is a group of youths who are terrorising the park. They are dealing drugs, have taken over the whole area. In a park that we have put so much money into, we need to put money into staffing and secure it.”

At the recent area meeting for Dublin South Central, councillors reiterated the need for additional gardai in Sundrive and Crumlin. Dublin City Council said they were working closely with gardai to address anti-social activity in the area.

A local tyre business in Crumlin also secured their property to prevent any thefts in the lead up to Halloween. McHugh fears the cutting of garda overtime by Commisioner Drew Harris will mean less gardai in local parks.

“We got four new gardai in Crumlin last week, but lost four senior gardai – we’re only holding our own,” said McHugh.

“New recruits from Templemore need to be paired with experienced members.”

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