Concern at continued play park vandalism in Killough

Concern at continued play park vandalism in Killough

15 March 2017

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to have Killough’s vandalism-hit play park moved to a new location.

The play park at Millfield was bedevilled by vandalism last year to the extent that ever piece of equipment was either damaged or burnt by September. Residents believe that moving the play park to a more public area would cut down on the vandalism.

A public meeting, organised by Killough Community Association and councillor Cadogan Enright, took place recently to discuss the situation at which many residents felt the play park is in the wrong place and it’s isolation encourages vandalism.

Councillor Enright said refurbishment of the existing play park is still ongoing and Newry, Mourne and Down Council is working on replaced the swing tyre and other pieces of equipment. He said there is also a plan to create a ‘teen shelter’ at a cost of over £8,000.

“Many residents expressed a concern that the play park is in the wrong place, and should be in one of several possible locations where people can keep it under observation to discourage future anti-social behaviour and vandalism,” said councillor Enright.  

“Council officials have confirmed to me that the council’s new play strategy includes a complete overhaul of the Killough play park and this will include a consultation on where it will be located. This will be part of the year three programme of the play strategy and is in the plan for 2019

“Given that council is bringing forward a consultation on the location of play parks in Killough this year and that the last of the repairs will freshen the appearance of the existing slide and adding a replacement facility by way of a tyre swing, I feel spending £8,000 plus VAT at this stage to create the teen shelter in Millfield would be ill-advised,” he added.

Killough Community Association chairwoman, Frances McIlwaine, said the consultation will be important.

“Many in the community feel that if the play park was out on the Green, the car-park or in one or two locations along the rope-walk it would be overlooked by houses and less subject to vandalism,” she said. 

“The new play park is expected to be a lot bigger and better, so it is important to locate it in the place that most people in the village think is best. We will welcome the consultation,” she added.