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Barriers put up by council in west Dublin survive just 24 hours before being torn apart

South Dublin County Council has had persistent problems with anti-social behaviour on the Clonburris lands.

20170824_111517 The most recent barriers at Clonburris only lasted 24 hours before they were vandalised. Source: South Dublin County Council

SOUTH DUBLIN COUNTY Council has said it is having “continuing problems” maintaining the boundaries on the Clonburris lands, near Clondalkin in the west of the county.

Locals say the unused green area – which has been tipped for a new housing development – has become a hotbed for crime, anti-social behaviour, and abandoned horses.

In recent months, the particular problem of young men driving cars, quads and scramblers in the area has worsened.

A spokesperson for the council told TheJournal.ie that it has made repeated efforts to secure the boundaries to prevent people accessing the land for such uses but the most recent fence it erected lasted just 24 hours.

They said: “The council’s environment, roads and economic development departments have made repeated efforts to secure the boundaries to these lands by way of erecting fencing, placing boulders, concrete blocks and mounds of clay.

However, there have been several repeated encroachments through these boundaries onto lands for anti-social behaviour purposes, with the most recent fence erected on 24 August 2017 surviving less than 24 hours.

“The council is currently re-examining its options in this regard as it is not viable to repeatedly repair and reinstall fencing at these locations,” they said.

The images supplied by the council show barriers completely torn down and, in one case, the barriers cut in two.

20170824_111513 Source: South Dublin County Council

As for the horses in the area, the council said that it is working in collaboration with animal welfare groups, its own contractor and the DSPCA on how to best deal with the issue of horses on the land.

“We are satisfied that there are currently no immediate welfare issues as the horses (fodder and water is available), but our main priority toward them is about provision of secure boundary treatments which will prevent access by vehicles which enter and subsequently chase the animals,” the spokesperson said.

So far this year, 27 horses have been removed from this area.

There are plans to build a new suburb on the Clonburris lands, and locals hope that the project to will put an end to anti-social behaviour at the site.

Local councillor Francis Timmons told TheJournal.ie: “At the minute – the animal cruelty and burn-out cars – we can’t allow this to continue.”

clonburris The Clonburris lands cover 280 hectares and are zoned for housing. Up to 8,000 houses could be built there over the next few years. Source: South Dublin County Council

Ironically, the worsening of the situation at Clonburris – much of which is in private ownership – is partly as a result of successful efforts to tackle cars being driven and burnt-out at the nearby St Cuthbert’s Park.

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Eoin O Broin, Sinn Féin TD for the area, said the community had come together to tackle the issue at St Cuthbert’s. As a result, some of the worst activity has migrated to the disused land – parts of which are isolated and out of sight from roadways.

Despite the entrances being sealed up repeatedly by the council, anti-social behaviour persists as demonstrated with the most recent barrier.

The Clonburris lands, as they’re part of a Strategic Development Zone, have been deemed to be “of economic and strategic and social importance to the State”.

Timmons added: “This could be a great development, it really could help solve a lot of the anti-social problems. But if it’s not done right it could be a disaster.

We want to learn from the mistakes of bad planning and avoid the sort of problems that have happened in other areas in the past.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

With reporting from Daragh Brophy

Read: 86 burnt-out cars removed from site of planned new suburb ahead of project launch

Read: ‘They sleep beside the burnt-out cars – we don’t know why. Maybe they get a bit of shelter from them’

About the author:

Sean Murray

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