Carrick-on-Suir Town Council says it will seek tenders shortly for the contract to repair and replace damaged play equipment and replace the perimeter fence with a stronger structure at the town’s vandalism and graffiti blighted Fair Green playground.
Town Clerk Michael O’Brien told The Nationalist the Council was preparing tender documents for the playground repairs project at the moment and hoped to carry out the work next year using its own capital funds.
Town Council management came under renewed pressure from councillors at the local authority’s recent monthly meeting to take action on the playground.
Fianna Fail Cllr Sylvia Cooney-Sheehan, who tabled a motion calling for the playground to be repaired and refenced at the meeting, said she was disappointed the Council still hasn’t carried out the works as the poor condition of the playground was first highlighted more than a year ago.
She said the playground looked awful at the moment, and the graffitti and vandalism were putting people off bringing their children there.
The Nationalist first highlighted the state of the playground at the Fair Green in August 2010 when parent Martin Simmons called on the Council to clean up the graffiti and replace the amenity’s broken equipment and fencing.
He highlighted the playground’s state after his little daughter Ella suffered a nasty gash to her leg from bolts protruding from the base of a roundabout at the playground that was removed by the Council due to vandalism.
At the time, Mr Simmons said vandals were turning the playground into an unsafe and undesirable place for children to play and pointed out that many parents in the town had stopped bringing their children to play there and were instead travelling to playgrounds in Clonmel and Mooncoin.
Cllr Cooney-Sheehan said the playground’s perimeter fence needs to be replaced with a stronger palisade fence to prevent teenagers getting into the amenity and hanging around it at night.
“Town Engineer Eoin Powell is to come back with a price on this stronger fencing and I will be asking him has he that quote at the November meeting.”
She said older teenagers should stay away from the playground but the Council also had to take responsibility and look after the facility.
Michael O’Brien said the Council invested a lot of money over the last few years on the playground and two years ago, for example, it removed all the chewing gum embedded in the playground’s rubber flooring and graffiti from the play equipment. The Council now intended to do more significant work on repairing and replacing broken equipment and replacing the fencing.
“Playground equipment is very expensive and we will be funding the project from the Council’s existing resources.”
He said there hadn’t been any significant incident of vandalism at the playground in recent times; the vandalism was “ongoing and low-level” damage caused by too many children of an inappropriate age using the equipment.