Locals in south inner city Dublin are “utterly devastated” after a children’s climbing frame was set on fire by vandals.
Weaver Park is a short walk from St James’ Hospital and was officially opened in 2017. The land was originally designated for housing but civic officials decided there was a lack of green spaces in the area and transformed it into a park instead.
On Sunday evening, a fire broke out on the playset and Dublin Fire Brigade were called. In its current state, the climbing frame is now unusable and Kelly, a local community officer, told Lunchtime Live that the people were “utterly devastated, it’s a major setback.”
Dublin City Council have committed to repairing the damage but as yet they do not know when it will be reopened to the public.
“It [the damage] is quite extensive,” Kelly continued.
“It was built from very robust wood and steel fabrication - very, very functional, looked beautiful and it needs to be functional and feel good for the people using it.
“But it’s made from a combination of raw materials so that it would be sustainable and… there is suspicion that an accelerant was used to get the fire started because it was absolutely teeming rain. You wouldn’t put a milk bottle out, it was that bad yesterday.
“It was just that kind of heavy, heavy rain, so I don’t know how they managed to get it going with such veracity.”
This was Weaver park last night. So disappointing to see this wonderful amenity attacked and not the first time. So many people fought so hard for this park and it is enjoyed by so many. Hope the gardai find those responsible @fiannafailparty #weaverpark 😞 pic.twitter.com/NkX5OJSJPF
— Senator Catherine Ardagh (@cardagh) October 10, 2022
The repair will require a “massive investment” of public funds and Kelly says this will “limit what we can do elsewhere”. However, the repair will be prioritised because the playground is a favourite of local families.
“It’s so well used,” she added.
“Every single day, children climbing all over it and enjoying it and really loving it.”
Dublin Fire Brigade have urged anyone with any information to contact An Garda Síochána.
Main image: Weaver Park. Picture by: Dublin Fire Brigade.