Treasurer of the Edenderry Playground Committee and Offaly County Counciller, Noel Cribbin, has expressed his disgust at the mindless act of vandalism carried out at the playground on Halloween night.
"The committee of Edenderry Playground are absolutely gutted at the sheer vandalism and destruction carried out by some mindless thugs," he fumed.
He explained that committee members and the local gardaí had been checking on the playground at different times throughout Halloween night, but they could do little to prevent the devastation that faced them on Wednesday morning.
"At around 1 am in the morning, an organised group met and were still heard there at 4am when most normal people were in their beds," he explained.
"This shower weren't happy until they had drank dozens of cans and bottles of beer and broken up new timber fencing to use as firewood for their bonfire which was lit under a special swing for kids with disabilities," Cribbin added.
"They set fire to this equipment and totally destroyed it. There is up to €3,000 worth of damage done by our vandals and we as a committee receive no annual funding from Offay County Council, so any expenses, upgrades or repairs have to come from fundraising."
"I am not sure what we are going to do, whether to walk away or not, but the people in Edenderry and particularly the local gardaí are going to have to get to the bottom of the drug and drink problems of some sections of our community in Edenderry," the local councillor said.
Cribbin has raised this issue with the local gardaí and the Chief Superintendent in the last few years and at public Joint Policing Meetings.
"To date, not enough has been done to cut out this growing problem," he remarked.
"It's bad enough that some unfortunate people have spent years doing drugs and their lives wasted, but the next generation coming up behind them see nothing else or nothing wrong with this choice of lifestyle and I again call on the gardaí to put in all the resources at their disposal to try and break up this drug culture, Cribbin concluded.
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