Locals left ‘crushed’ after Weaver Park playground set ablaze

The fire caused significant damage to the playground’s jungle gym

The aftermath of the fire, showing much of the damage. Image: Sheena Morris.

Liberties locals have been left “crushed” after a local playground was set ablaze.  

The fire broke out at Dublin 8’s Weaver Park shortly before 6:30pm last Sunday. No injuries were reported but much of the playground sustained significant damage.  

A fire engine from the nearby Dolphin’s Barn Fire Station extinguished the blaze following an emergency call.

Gardaí are still investigating the incident and as of yet no arrests have been made.  

Sinn Féin councillor for the South West Inner City, Máire Devine condemned the damage, describing it as “devastating” considering how much effort went into creating the park.

“It was just a hard sink moment and we shared that with the entire community and beyond,” she said.  

“The dreams of so many that worked so hard to get this off the ground, to have an open space to play and skateboard right in the heart of the Liberties.” 

“We were just devastated to see what could happen, what was possible in this destructive manner.” 

Many locals saw the fire firsthand when it was started in broad daylight. Source: @libertiesdublin Twitter.

Liberties local, Christine Kennedy says the fire was “crushing”, and a great loss to the local community. 

“I’ve seen videos of the fire, and even looking at it now, it’s a terrible thing,” she said. 

“You’d really think you’d have better things to do than to go off and burn a playground. It’s infuriating is what is it is.”

Green Party councillor for the South West Inner City, Michael Pidgeon told The Liberty that the destruction was “pointless”.   

“We were just devastated to see what could happen, what was possible in this destructive manner.”

Máire Devine, Sinn Féin

“It’s kind of an attack on everyone,” he said. “I just find it so frustrating that it’s happened to something that is provided openly and freely for everyone.” 

“The Liberties doesn’t have much in the way of open public or green space and the fact that such spaces are subject to something like this is absolutely maddening.”

Weaver Park was launched back in 2017, it features a playground, skate park and a multitude of open green spaces. 

The open green space in Weaver Park was a welcome addition to the Liberties. Image: Sheena Morris.

It is part of Dublin City Council’s Greening Strategy for the Liberties, which traditionally has a lower percentage of green spaces per person compared to other parts of Dublin.  

Dublin City Council released a statement stating repairs will commence as soon as an assessment of the damage can be completed.  

The statement issued by Dublin City Council in relation to the fire at Weaver Park. Source: @DubCityCouncil Twitter.

Pidgeon hopes that the addition of new housing around the park on Cork and Chamber Street will add natural surveillance to the area which may help in preventing future vandalism.  

“They’re the kind of measures I’m hopeful for and obviously you have to tie that in with youth outreach in general,” he said.  

“You’ll have people saying, ‘Oh we can’t rebuild, we can’t have nice things’ you know tarnish the whole area with a brush.” 

“You just have to say no to that and actually double down on more engagements, more facilities, make the Liberties a better place to be and I think you’ll gradually improve these things.”  

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