Time to get tough on lager louts says Connolly

South Park is not a place for lager louts, late night drinking, and hooliganism, and serious steps need to be taken to cut out such behaviour there.

This is the view of Independent councillor Catherine Connolly who said the “repeated use” of South Park in the Claddagh, for “drinking parties” is “completely unacceptable”.

“South Park is a very special amenity area which was given to the city by the Carnagie Trust,” she said. “However it is being used as a drinking venue by people of various ages and the mess left behind is simply dreadful.”

Cllr Connolly said the latest occurrence of this was on Halloween Sunday night when “crowds of young people” lit bonfires and went drinking. She informed the Gardaí what was happening and on Monday morning she said one of four fires was still smouldering, and the shore, including the cycle path, was littered with bottles, broken glass, and debris.

Cllr Connolly also said that the scene at the play facilities at McGrath’s field in Knocknacarra on Sunday night was “simply appalling”.

“There were droves of young people drinking in public and misusing the play facilities,” she said. “The Gardaí and fire brigade had to be called because of the wanton vandalism to the playground, and in particular the play facilities for children with special needs.”

Cllr Connolly said these incidents have to be a “wake up call” for parents, Gardaí, schools, and the authorities and she is calling on the Gardaí to “enforce the Drink Bye-Laws” which will allow them to both confiscate and destroy drink consumed in public.

She believes that pro-active policing, community wardens on patrol, and regular weekend clean ups would help prevent this type of behaviour, although such measures are under threat because of cut-backs. Nonetheless there will be a more active community garda presence in the Claddagh with the assignment of a second community garda to the area.

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