City park ‘in danger of becoming no-go zone’

A Derry mother of two says litter land drinking in St Columbs Park has got out of control - and is scaring away young families
A Derry mother of two says litter land drinking in St Columbs Park has got out of control - and is scaring away young families

Boozers and litter louts are threatening to make one of the city’s best known public parks a no-go area for families, a Derry mum has claimed.

The mum-of-two, who wishes to remain anonymous, says she visited St Columb’s Park on several occasions with her three year-old and nine month-old baby last week as temperatures soared across the city.

But she says she was shocked by the “dangerous and disgusting” state of the Waterside park.

“We were there almost every day and while it was bad at the start of the week, by Friday it was unbearable.

“There were beer cans and broken glass everywhere. The child’s play area was just not safe and I did not want my daughter using it.”

The Waterside mother says she was back in the park on Sunday afternoon and things “were significantly better” but she says the park is “a lovely public space” that will become a no go area for families if Derry City Council do not clamp down on escalating anti social behaviour.

“They (the council) need to get the finger out - especially with the City of Culture year just around the corner,” she says.

A spokeswoman for Derry City Council says the local authority is aware of “an upsurge in anti–social behaviour and the amounts of litter in St Columb’s Park.”

“The Park is cleaned five times per week with spot checks on the other days. Cleaning operatives are taken from other scheduled work to clean the rubbish at peak times and following any increased activity or events,” she says.

The spokeswoman says the Council “is committed to working as best it can to address these issues and to increase public awareness of their responsibilities.”