herald

Monday 18 February 2019

'Substantial' bill to repair playground after arson

Fire rages at an Applewood playground after arsonists struck
Fire rages at an Applewood playground after arsonists struck

A Dublin playground torched by vandals is set to cost "tens of thousands" to repair, the Herald understands.

The playground in Applewood, Swords, was set alight last week causing significant damage, with Dublin Fire Brigade called out to extinguish it.

It is understood some CCTV footage of the incident may have been captured by a resident in the Thornleigh Estate.

It is not the first time the playground has been targeted by vandals, with some damage caused in an incident less than 18 months ago.

Damage

However, it is understood that the damage done in the latest incident is significantly worse, due to the damage to the surface of the playground.

Fingal County Council is expected to foot the bill, with a spokesman saying that it is still inspecting the damage, "but we would expect the cost to be substantial".

The playground is less than five years old and was only built following significant fundraising work undertaken by the local community.

Councillor Duncan Smith told the Herald that the community at the time raised enough funding for two playgrounds in the area, during a time when there was little money available for such amenities.

"They were the only playgrounds built in north County Dublin during the recession era," Mr Smith said.

"So we're very proud of them and very upset at the massive damage that has been caused."

He said that the playground has been very well used by local children.

Meanwhile, another fire started on a football pitch on the southside of the city over the weekend has also caused damage.

Areas around the Benmadigan pitches in Drimnagh have been burnt out.

Local councillor Daithi Doolan condemned the incident.

"This attack was wrong. A stack of industrial, plastic fencing was set on fire," Mr Doolan said.

"Those involved should stop and think.

"They are destroying a pitch which the whole community use.

"Their own friends and neighbours use this pitch.

"I would also appeal to local residents. If you see anyone vandalising or attacking our community facilities call the gardai immediately," Mr Doolan added.

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