More criminal damage at playground

vandals have again targeted the playground at Smiths Field in Mountmellick, causing an estimated €300 worth of damage.

vandals have again targeted the playground at Smiths Field in Mountmellick, causing an estimated €300 worth of damage.

Early last Saturday morning, May 26, Gardaí received a report by a member of the public that equipment at the playground had been damaged overnight.

Gardaí say there is no CCTV footage, and no witnesses to the vandalism, but that they are conducting an investigation into the crime.

The playground has been vandalised several times since it opened three years ago, at a cost of €250,000. It is also the site of many reports of anti social behaviour, exacerbated by its secluded location and lack of access by road.

Fine Gael Cllr Bobby Delaney has repeated his calls to close the playground, following the latest damage.

“This is an ongoing problem every week. It just has to be closed in my opinion. There is no community spirit for it. I would like to see the equipment taken out and used elsewhere in the county if there is nowhere for it in Mountmellick. It’s only going to be vandalised again,” he said.

The councillor also claimed that the gates to the playground were stolen several weeks ago.

Cllr Delaney believes CCTV will not be installed at the playground by Laois County Council, despite their assurances.

“In my opinion I can never see cameras going down there,” he said.