The scourge of anti-social behaviour is putting parents off visiting a Keady Play Park, it has been claimed.
SDLP councillor Thomas O’Hanlon says many families are being put off taking young children to the play park in Keady Glen due to ongoing anti-social behaviour and vandalism in the park.
“Hardly a day goes by without a complaint from local parents and grandparents about the state of the Play Park in Keady, be that litter, vandalism or even youths gathering in the area drinking,” explained councillor O’Hanlon explained.
“Parents are so disgusted with the area many have stopped using the park.”
He added: “Over recent months, especially at weekends and now we’re in the school holidays it has become an almost nightly occurrence where the area becomes a drinking den.
“The following morning parents are greeted with litter everywhere, broken glass bottles and broken equipment.”
“Those responsible are brazen, when the park is locked they gain access anyhow and if approached they give a mouthful of bad manners.
“This is not about stopping young people from enjoying life or them catching up with their mates, but there is a time and a place.
“Three and four in the morning, roaring and shouting, playing loud music whilst smashing up our play park is not that place.
“This is about respecting our community and respecting the play park which many fought hard to get.”
Councillor O’Hanlon says he has been liaising with council staff from right across the departments on this issue and action is being taken.
“Everything from additional locks to additional patrols by staff is being considered,” he said.
“I have asked that damaged play equipment is replaced and the area given a good spruce up.
“New daily routines have been introduced, the park will be checked and cleaned on a more regular basis, but it shouldn’t have to be this way if the place was only respected.
“The park and the investment that came with it in the Glen was hard fought for by councillors.
“This is and should be a fantastic resource for the children of this area.
“Those responsible will be parents one day too and I hope they don’t have to make contact with elected representatives complaining about the state of the park when they want to bring their children. My message cannot be clearer or simpler, leave our park alone.”