Lots of families will be heading out and about to our many beautiful spots this weekend, and they’ll be looking forward to breaking out the picnics.
But for those in Ballincollig there is a lot of anger this morning as they awoke to find three of them burnt out in the beloved Regional Park.
The benches beside the playground may be Cork’s most popular, as the huge park gets visitors from far and wide and is one of the county’s greatest facilities.
But thanks to the actions of a small few, they’ll have to find somewhere else to sit and relax.
Regional Park bosses are fuming at what’s happened, as are locals, as so much hard work goes into maintaining the vast area so everyone can enjoy it.
Taking to Facebook the group said they’re expecting tons of people to come this weekend, and it’s a “great pity that the actions of a tiny few can impact so negatively.
They said: “The Regional Park enjoys a huge footfall every year, as users appreciate the variety of beautiful woodland riverside walks, playing pitches, playground, basketball / soccer courts, skate park, wild flower meadows etc and all maintained by a dedicated city council work team.
“It is such a great pity that the actions of a tiny few can impact so negatively at times on users enjoyment of the amenity!
“Last night three of our picnic benches that would be so well used this weekend were deliberately set alight.”
The local fire service were on the scene putting it out at around 6am, while there are now calls for more CCTV.
Lord Mayor Colm Kelleher, who hails from the area, has called it “absolutely disgraceful” and said they’ve had a “spate of burnings” in the park over lockdown.
He said: “You can see a few of the benches had to be replaced with metal ones instead of plastic ones.
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“It’s absolutely disgraceful and we’ll have to eat into a budget in parks to have them replaced. I’ve spoken with gardai this morning and parks and I’ll be requesting that these be replaced as soon as possible but also they’ll probable have to be replaced with metal ones at this stage. “
He also said he’ll be pushing for CCTV around the playgrounds.