Quad bike vandals remove gates with angle grinders

By Mary Dennehy

THE use of power tools to repeatedly remove entrance gates to a Tallaght park has resulted in council members voting in favour to close one access route in an attempt to protect the public green space.

On three occasions the kissing gates at two entrance points into Kiltalown Park have been removed by angle grinders to open the park up to motorbikes and quads – which are destroying the public space and generating noise pollution.

USE PLS Cathal King 04

After the first two instances, South Dublin County Council put protection around the hinges to strengthen the third set of heavy gates from the onslaught of power tools.

However, the gates only lasted one week before being removed by vandals for the third time.

Tallaght South Sinn Fein councillor, Cathal King told The Echo: “Three times now these gates have been taken off the hinges to create park access for motorbikes and quads.

“The park is being destroyed for local residents and the noise of the bikes is causing hassle for families and the nearby Tallaght Rehabilitation Project (TRP), which is a tranquil place that provides all sorts of holistic therapy.”

Cllr King raised a motion to have one of the three entrances to Kiltalown Park closed due to ongoing problems and, at Monday’s Tallaght Area Committee Meeting, members voted to extinguish the right-of-way at Kiltalown View.

“This is probably the most vulnerable and isolated entrance to the park,” Cllr King said.

Cathal King 08

“Alongside being the point where many of the motorised bikes gain access, residents also experience problems at this spot with anti-social behaviour and illegal dumping.

“It’s also believed to be the most-used escape route for burglars who are fleeing the area on foot.”

He added: “Plans to extinguish the entrance will start in the coming weeks and we will be consulting with residents about closing the access route and extending the stone wall and railings.”

Mary Maguire, a senior executive officer with the council’s environment department, said: “The council confirms that a number of entrance gates to Kiltalown Park have been vandalised in such a way that motorbikes can gain access.

“The gates in question are at Kiltalown View and out onto the N81.

“These gates have been vandalised on repeated occasions, with power tools having been used by vandals to cut out and remove sections of these very heavy gates.”

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