Kids forced to ‘wade through rubbish’ to play

Cllr Carla Lockhart with parents Bethany Macgillivray with son Logan, Lisa White and son Caleb and Olivia Banks at the Mourneview playpark. INLM33-101gc
Cllr Carla Lockhart with parents Bethany Macgillivray with son Logan, Lisa White and son Caleb and Olivia Banks at the Mourneview playpark. INLM33-101gc
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A month ago Mourneview celebrated the opening of a new play park. Four weeks later parents are lamenting the state of the facility.

It didn’t take long for the play park to become degraded, but parents aren’t prepared to sit idly by and let it happen.

Littering has blighted the once gleaming facility with chewing gum, crisp packets and empty bottles providing unwanted obstacles for children using the play equipment.

The ‘MAIL’ spoke with several parents whose kids use the facility on a regular basis.

Mother of twins Amanda Steele said: “It’s very disappointing that older children can’t put rubbish in the bin when my three-year-olds can without being told. My son Oliver actually started to lift rubbish in the play park and said, ‘It messy, mum. Let’s tidy up.”

Caroline Lagewaard, Mourneview Community Centre manager, commented: “It’s like this every day unfortunately. The amount of rubbish here in the mornings is shocking.”

Lisa White, whose son Caleb is a regular visitor to the play park, said: “These kids need to be taught to respect the area where they live.

“In their defence there is nothing round here for older kids to do. Most of them aren’t that bad when you speak to them, though I’m shocked by their language. I don’t want my kids picking it up, so if I hear them swearing I’m not behind the door about saying to them.”

As Lisa was being interviewed one of the children in the play park called for help after he got stuck to the ground courtesy of a discarded blob of chewing gum.

“That says it all,” commented Lisa. “I remember when they opened this play park it was gleaming. It’s amazing how quickly it’s gone downhill.”

Bethany Macgillivray, who was visiting the play park with her son Logan said: “The lack of respect shown by the teenagers is unbelievable and not just in terms of littering. There’s times I wouldn’t bring my son in here because the number of teenagers hanging around is quite intimidating.”