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mind-blowing Locals angry as 'campaign' of vandalism causes €30,000 worth of damage to Dublin park

There is (sic) an abundance of benches in Herbert Park but unfortunately, they are getting picked off one by one in the middle of the night"

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Some of the damage in Herbert Park (Twitter: Emma Tyrrell)

Some of the damage in Herbert Park (Twitter: Emma Tyrrell)

Some of the damage in Herbert Park (Twitter: Emma Tyrrell)

A campaign of vandalism that has caused over €30,000 worth of damage at a Dublin park over the past year is to raised at the council's South East Area Joint Policing Committee.

The attacks in Herbert Park in Ballsbridge has resulted in burned out park benches and bins that were picked off "one by one", according to locals.

Patrick Byrne from the local Tidy Towns group told Newstalk big belly bins have also been destroyed.

Speaking after more benches were set alight last night he told the radio station that the park has been targeted as part of an ongoing malicious campaign over the last year.

“There is (sic) an abundance of benches in Herbert Park but unfortunately, they are getting picked off one by one in the middle of the night,” he said.

“Not just in random acts of stupidity, these are very deliberate, targeted acts of vandalism because it can happen sometimes at 12am at night or it can happen sometime at 6am in the morning.”

Mr Byrne said there may also be a racist element to the campaign.

“Somebody is actually deliberately bringing bins from surrounding roads, taking them down to the park and setting them on fire as well as the actual bins in the park so it is very targeted and very deliberate,” he said.

“A mural has been damaged and that really has a kind of a racial undertone to it, which is particularly disgusting.”

Local councillor Dermot Lacey told Newstalk Breakfast this morning that whenever the culprits are caught, they should be forced to pay for the damage.

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“In the last year of so there have been a series of vandal attacks on Herbert Park but, in the last few months, it has gotten increasingly worse,” he said.

“We have had really old benches, here in the park for decades, burnt out; we have had bins burnt out and it does seem to be targeted at a particular part of the park in a particular way.”

Cllr Lacey also suspects the incidents of vandalism, which have been happening for about a year, are linked.

He said: "It is mind-blowingly frustrating because we have invested huge money in Herbert Park over the last 10 years or so - the new café, the new tennis courts, drained football pitches, Astroturf pitches, new footpaths and landscaping.

"An enormous amount of money has been spent and then people come along and do this sort of stuff. They also damaged the mural done by Ballsbridge Tidy Towns group.

He added: "It is fairly disgraceful. It is just people damaging their own community. Why people would do it, I just don't understand."

Furious park lovers took to Twitter to express their disgust.

“€14,000 worth of damage!” tweeted the Donnybrook Dublin 4 account.

“It is mind-blowingly frustrating because we have invested huge money in #HerbertPark over last 10 yrs - new café, tennis courts, drained football pitches, Astroturf pitches, new footpaths & landscaping.”

“This is so typical, the #vandalism in #herbertpark #ballsbridge made the #news today,” added another.

"This happens on a weekly basis in #park near my house & many other parks around #dublin but it never gets a mention… each time benches & bins are replaced they get torched again."

Cllr Claire O'Connor tweeted: “Another random of act of vandalism in our beautiful Herbert Park.

I will be raising this issue tomorrow with the Chief Superintendent for the area when I chair the South East Area Joint Policing Committee.”

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