Concerns over ‘loss of life’ as teenage gangs gather at Cork park

Councillor says used syringes, discarded underwear and condoms left in play area in Glanmire park

Glanmire Park which reportedly has to be cleaned from top to bottom every Monday morning following the weekend’s anti-social activities. Source: Google Street View

Glanmire Park which reportedly has to be cleaned from top to bottom every Monday morning following the weekend’s anti-social activities. Source: Google Street View

 

A garda in Co Cork has expressed concerns about the potential for a “serious loss of life” following reports of a wave of anti-social behaviour at a park in Glanmire.

Community Garda Noel Fitzgerald told a county council meeting earlier this week that something needed to be done “sooner rather than later” about the escalating situation at John O’Callaghan Park amid reports that teenage gangs are arriving by bus from Cork city where they, and other local youths are drinking, taking drugs, setting fire to wheelie bins and throwing stones at passing cars.

Local Independent councillor Ger Keohane contacted the Neil Prendeville Show on Cork’s RedFM on Wednesday where he spoke about used syringes and discarded underwear and condoms being left in the play area and hard drug use, including the injecting of heroin, at John O’Callaghan Park in Glanmire.

“It is a blight on the community at the minute. At the weekends it is crazy there. Without fail it is chaotic there. You could have up to 250 people. They are high on drugs and drunk on alcohol. They have no respect. I spoke to a bus driver and he said they are coming from the city areas. I spoke to one bus driver and he said youths got on the bus laden down with alcohol and asked the bus driver where the park was. They are 15, 16, 17.”

Cllr Keohane said gardaí are doing their best to deal with the situation. However, he stressed that they do not have the manpower as Glanmire Garda station is transferred to another Garda station in the city after 6pm daily.

The park reportedly has to be cleaned from top to bottom every Monday morning following the weekend’s anti-social activities.

Cllr Keohane says Cork County Council has decided to set money aside to put increased lighting in the parking and that efforts are being made to solve the crisis.

He says that some parents even drop their teenagers to the park for the night and that people need to take responsibility for their offspring

“Parental supervision is important. Then you have social media saying ,‘We are down in John O’Callaghan Park, come down.’ It has gone out of control.”

Local resident Anne Walsh told the show that her neighbours in Meadow Brook are at their wits end because of the activities at the park.

“I can’t understand where parental supervision has gone. There is the sense of entitlement to remove bins from the houses here and set them on fire. That is a cost to people in a mature estate. Those bins are being brought over. There is something being thrown at them to light and it makes a nice cosy spot while people are drinking cans. It has got very aggravated in the last 12 months.”