Sunday 18 March 2018

Gang of youths 'attempted to set young boy's hair on fire' in park

Carlow park
Carlow park
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

Two public parks have called for extra security in the wake of violent threats and anti-social behaviour.

Carlow Town Park has called for security to patrol the park during opening hours after a group of youth allegedly tried to set fire to a young boy’s hair, who was with his mother at the time.

The decision to employ security came from Carlow County Council following discussions with the local gardai.

Fine Gael Cllr Fergal Browne said anti-social behaviour is common in the evenings at the town park.

“It’s a lovely town park but there’s a big mount of clay that makes a great hiding spot and it’s difficult to control,” he said.

Browne said that security to patrol the park would cost the county council approximately €70,000.

A second park in the south of Carlow called for more security measures after a young boy was beaten so badly by thugs that his arm was broken.

Sinn Fein Cllr Andy Gladney said that more CCTV is needed in the Bagenalstown’s park to stop these violent threats.

“There’s a lot of anti-social behaviour in the park. Teenagers aged between 17 and 18-years-old are messing on swings meant for young children and are breaking the chains.

“On Friday and Saturday nights there are ongoing parties with drinking and broken bottles. Residents in the area are picking up the bottles so children don’t get hurt,” he said.

Gladney said the issue can be solved by working with the gardai to install more CCTV cameras and to patrol the area on Friday and Saturday nights “to catch the culprits”.

“The tax payer is paying for the damage they're causing. The local authorities have to keep working hard to fix the grounds.”

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