Carrick Town Council has rejected a councillor’s proposal to install a sensor light at the recently revamped Fair Green Playground as a deterrent to prevent youths entering it at night.
Fianna Fail Cllr Sylvia Cooney-Sheehan tabled a motion at the Council’s latest meeting calling for this light for the playground because there were people climbing over its perimeter fence at night.
She unsuccessfully lobbied for the playground’s perimeter fence to be increased in height at previous Council meetings to prevent the renovated amenity from being vandalised again. She suggested the sensor light as an alternative deterent to intruders.
FG Cllr Margaret Croke supported the proposal but the Mayor Cllr Kieran Bourke (FF) said the anti-social behaviour was taking place in the playground in daylight hours not at night.
He recalled asking five to six teenagers playing hurling in the playground to leave and play on the green but they just sniggered. He reported them to the Gardai and an officer approached them and asked them to leave but they refused again.
He urged parents who saw youths engaging in anti-social behaviour at the playground to ask them to leave and if they refused inform the appropriate authorities.
SF Cllr David Dunne agreed the anti-social behaviour was a day-time problem and highlighted how he stopped youths kicking football in the playground by kicking the ball out onto the green. Parents needed to take ownership of the playground, he said.
Town Clerk Michael O’Brien said Council management felt it was inappropriate to install a sensor light because they can act as a beacon and encourage people to congregate around them. They were also very sensitive and could be set off by people just walking on the footpath outside the playground.
Cllr Cooney-Sheehan disagreed the Council’s response and suggested the light could be erected in a place where you would have to be in the playground to set it off. The light would also make playground intruders visible to the public at night and people might stand up to them, she argued before the issue be raised at the next meeting of Carrick-on-Suir’s Joint Policing Committee.
Town Clerk Michael O’Brien stressed the Council didn’t recommend people confront those engaging in anti-social behaviour. He advised them instead to report incidents to the Gardai.