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Crossgar play park damaged in flaming tyre attack

Published 12/07/2015

The cost of repairing the damage is estimated to be in the tens of thousands of pounds.
The cost of repairing the damage is estimated to be in the tens of thousands of pounds.

A childrens' play park in Crossgar, Co Down has suffered significant damage in an arson attack.

It's believed a tyre was set alight in the park on Downpatrick Street causing substantial damage.

Police estimate the cost of repairing the damage to be in the tens of thousands of pounds.

The park was refurbished less than a year ago at a cost of £130,000.

SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie condemned the attack, saying: “What happened last night in Crossgar was utterly shameful.

“Those behind this attack either do not understand or care that local councils are running a tight budget and cannot easily afford to replace facilities such as the one they destroyed.

“This incident of mindless vandalism has carried a great cost for local children who will be deprived of active outdoor play until the play-park can be restored."

She added: “I call on anyone who has any information that could lead to those responsible to please contact the PSNI by phoning 101. I also call on the Council to ensure that it is not children who are punished by this contemptable act by ensuring that the play-park is repaired as soon as possible.”

Independent councillor Terry Andrews said he was "disgusted" by the overnight vandalism.

He said: "It is just senseless, barbaric wanton destruction. We have had parents turn up here with their children this morning and the children have had tears in their eyes when they saw what had happened.

"This park is less than a year old. It had state-of-the-art equipment but the play tower has been burnt to a crisp, the soft matting has been damaged and summer seats have been destroyed.

"The whole place is in a sorry state and will have to be closed off for the foreseeable future."

Anyone who witnessed suspicious activity around the area of the play park and in particular, anyone who saw someone in possession of a car tyre to contact police at Downpatrick on the non emergency number 101.

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