Parents need to stand up to groups of teenagers taking over local playgrounds

Parents in Lucan say they are being forced to avoid the new playground in Griffeen Valley Park due to anti-social behaviour and intimidation from large groups of teenagers.

The new playspace which opened earlier in the summer and cost in the region of €220,000 to build was much anticipated by those living in the area, however many have said since it was completed it has become a beacon for teenagers to hang around in and cause trouble.

The issue has been ongoing for some weeks, and yesterday morning local Councillor and Mayor of South Dublin County, Paul Gogarty said parents need to stand up to these groups.

Speaking on the Niall Boylan show he said: “What I would say to people is you have to stand up to anyone who is causing trouble, and even if they are giving you lip or shouting abuse, you have to have a zero tolerance approach, but it is also about people supporting one another.”

He continued: “We need the parents to report everything to Gardai, to stand up to kids if they are causing trouble to other kids and back each other up.

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“If people feel intimidated they should talk to other parents and report everything to Gardai every time.”

The problems with the behaviour of some teenagers in the area has been highlighted in several groups on Facebook, and Mayor Gogarty said these parents need to report the incidents to Gardai as well as posting things on social media.

Commenting on one of the social media threads this week one parent said although there has not been physical altercations or serious incidents, the fact that parents feel they cannot bring their children to the playground is something that needs to be addressed.

The woman said: “I know people think this is petty, and it might not be that bad, but when you walk up to the playground and every activity is being used by groups of teenagers, what are you supposed to do?

“I’m there with my little girl and the last thing I want is for her to see me arguing so I just go home. We take the long way home and my daughter still enjoys being out, but I don’t think it is right either.”

Unfortunately several local playgrounds and playspaces, including the new playground in Tymon Park and the facility in Balgaddy have been continually targeted by vandals, and one woman from Lucan who also spoke on the Niall Boylan Show yesterday morning said the teenagers just don’t have respect nowadays.

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Sandra said: “The lack of respect for people, their property and for our community is what kills me, and you can’t say there is nothing in Lucan for the kids to do, there is loads for them to do.

“All these parents are sitting around and watching a crowd of kids. One parent goes up and approaches them and the rest seem to hang back.

“I mean, the parents should be together aswell and support eachother.”

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