Posted on Jan 7, 2010 by Administrator
A while ago I made a trip to the playground in the Phoenix Park with my two-year old only to find the charred remains of one of the units fenced off. It was one of the smaller units designed for toddlers. A few weeks later I went to the playground in St Anne's Park only to find that the playground was closed because (you guessed it) somebody had burnt down a playground unit. This time the unit was larger and was for slightly older kids.
My reaction was a mixture of anger and disgust (mainly anger). I mean... what kind of idiots burn down playgrounds?
- Vandalism at the Playground in St Anne's Park
Maybe vandalism of playgrounds was a problem in every playground or maybe I (and my toddler) were just really unlucky. I decided to put in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Dublin City Council to request information on vandalism of playgrounds and ensuing costs.
Of the 107 playgrounds that fall under the remit of Dublin City Council, 44 are located in public parks and 63 in housing complexes and estates. Dublin City Council furnished me with details of vandalism of 17 playgrounds in their remit from January 2007 to October 2009. The FOI Officer at Dublin City Council explained that measuring vandalism was difficult as smaller incidents such as those caused by graffiti may be tackled by Dublin City Council staff as part of their usual maintenance duties. Costs provided by Dublin City Council therefore mainly included more substantial incidents of vandalism. That said most of the incidents of vandalism are relatively small and include damaged swings, slides, surfaces and rope bridges.
From the list provided by Dublin City Council, recent vandalism to two Dublin playgrounds seem to be particularly noteworthy:
- The fire damage to play facilities at St Anne's Park in September and October 2009 was considered to have cost approximately 20,330 Euros. The cost of the burnt out play unit was considered to have come to 19,295 Euros and damage to swings came to 1,035.76 Euros. The play unit has not been replaced.
- The vandalism of the the playground in O'Devaney Gardens in August 2009. Dublin City Council has not given an approximate cost of damage to the playground, however considering the playground has been burnt to the ground it is likely that the cost ran in the thousands if not tens of thousands.
The vandalism of the playground in the Phoenix park was not included in the list as the Phoenix Park playground in run by the Office of Public Works.