Letterkenny Town Council is to carry out a review of its security arrangements at the Town Park following recent unsavoury incidents, it was confirmed this week.
Town Clerk, Paddy Doherty, said they would be reviewing the security hours at the park to see if they required more presence at key times.
However, the Council has backed off from a call from Councillor Gerry McMonagle for a full time Park Warden to be employed.
Speaking at Monday night’s Town Council meeting Councillor McMonagle said a recent lewd sex act in the Town Park had shocked local people and incidents such as anti-social behaviour, bullying, and vandalism out of hours had to be tackled.
“The incident published in the local paper last week was very unsavoury and we need some urgency here to tackle this problem in the park. Children are also using the park to scheme from school. I think a Park Warden could be employed who would also patrol the Ballyboe Park and our new Town Park coming on stream at Ballymacool,” he said.
“There is drinking going on here and I think we need a presence here to help the Gardai. Funding can be sought from Community Employment or FAS schemes. There are thousands using the park now on a weekly basis with the good weather. We also have one of the most prestigious bowling greens in the country. There are late night drinking parties and I think we need to employ somebody here,” Clr. McMonagle added.
Clr. Victor Fisher said the Bernard McGlinchey Town Park was a fantastic facility and felt the number of complaints was relatively low compared to the numbers passing through it.
“I think we could do with somebody monitoring it all the same,” he said.
Clr.Ciaran Brogan said it was a fabulous park and people were coming from all over the county to use it.
“There are always isolated incidents. We have a security firm and maybe we can look at increasing the hours they’re putting in. There are always public order problems but we should discuss this with the current security firm in the first instance. The council staff, particularly David Donnelly, is always keeping a close eye too on the park,” Clr. Brogan said.
Clr. Neil Clarke said it would be more cost efficient to increase the hours of the security firm than employ somebody specifically for the task but he said the council had three great assets in the Town Park, Ballyboe and also the new Town Park at Ballymacool that needed to be protected.
“I think we need to have a strong presence to impose our statutory powers,” he said.
Mayor Jean Crossan said having a Park Attendant at key times would be a help, particularly around closing time.
Town Clerk, Paddy Doherty said they would review the security arrangements with a view to extending the security contract if it was required at key hours.
“We may ask for an hourly rate,” he said.