Strange fate of a public bench

 

A chara, – Apparently the granite bench outside Powerscourt Centre was, as Dublin City Council was told, “responsible for a recent rise in anti-social behaviour in the area” (“What happened to the public bench outside Dublin’s Powerscourt Centre?”, News, July 19th).

The bench was not drinking, nor was it taking drugs. The bench never offered or sold drugs to anyone. The bench did not fail to provide adequate addition services, nor did the bench contribute to the staggeringly long queues to access mental health services in Ireland. The bench did not preside over a broken housing system, spilling vulnerable people onto the streets and into the cold comfort of drink and drugs, and the bench didn’t cut social housing funding by 72 per cent between 2008 and 2012 just as many people needed it most.

The bench didn’t damage anyone’s sense of community or local pride. The bench didn’t create or reinforce a culture of hard drinking. The bench never got to decide on funding for An Garda Síochána to enable it to maintain a presence in the area local to the bench, and if it had, perhaps it might have been able to prevent its violent destruction.

I have chronic fatigue syndrome. I sat on that bench when I needed to rest and couldn’t or wouldn’t pay €2.50 for an undrunk cup of tea for the privilege.

It’s getting harder and harder to find such friendly, helpful benches in Dublin city.

Don’t blame the bench. – Is mise,

EMER ELLIS-NEENAN,

Dundrum,

Dublin 14.