Thugs prevent council workers from collecting rubbish in park

By Maurice Garvey

THUGS have prevented council staff from collecting rubbish in St Cuthbert’s Park – a situation branded “ridiculous” by a local resident’s group.

Scramblers, drug dealing and illegal dumping have blighted the Clondalkin park in recent years.

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According to correspondence between South Dublin County Council’s environment department and Councillor Mark Ward, staff are “having difficulty collecting illegal dumping in the park due to anti-social behavior.”

Cllr Ward said it was the first time he ever received a response like that from the council.

“There seems to be an escalation (of anti-social activity), but is it getting to the stage where gardai will have to accompany council staff.

“The only time you usually see this is at Halloween, when there is objection to contractors collecting bonfire material.”

More needs to be done

A taskforce and a Friends of St Cuthbert’s group was formed to focus on the park, but locals feel more needs to be done to make the amenity safer.

Kilcronan resident Lisa Kinsella, a member of both groups, said there was a danger the annual community fete at the park, scheduled to take place in August, could be at risk if the council cannot access the park.

“Three weeks ago, Friends of St Cuthbert’s held a charity run in the park. [Recently], I was in Corkagh Park for a run and the place was immaculate,” said Lisa.

“We don’t want excuses. This wouldn’t happen in Corkagh Park. Don’t get me wrong, they tried to run us out of St Cuthbert’s for taking pictures of rubbish, but it is madness to say the council can’t go in. It is disheartening.”

SDCC are installing a CCTV system in the park in June, which will be monitored 24 hours a day by local gardai.

Three weeks ago, Clondalkin councillors backed proposals for Clondalkin Celtic to use the park as their home ground, a move most residents support.

Meanwhile, the building of 63 social houses in St Cuthbert’s Park is due to commence next week.

Cllr Ward said he has received assurances that the contractor will fully secure the site, and that the CCTV will be in place by mid-June.

He has called for more resources and a joined up approach from the taskforce to tackle anti-social behaviour at the park.

The Echo asked SDCC what type of difficulty staff faced at St Cuthbert’s Park in recent months.

SDCC responded with information on the CCTV, working with gardai to combat dumping, and the council’s willingness to work with Clondalkin Celtic.

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