Thursday, 20th September 2018
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THE recent defacing of the plaza situated on the quay has brought great shame and disgust to the city. Benches were set on fire and ripped out of the ground and it is a great travesty to see our city suffer this property damage. Fingers are being pointed at the skaters of Waterford City but local skaters say that’s unfair. The term ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ springs to mind.

If the skaters use this place regularly to practice something they love to do, why would they all of a sudden destroy it and ruin it on themselves?

How do we know that it was these skaters? I have often passed the plaza and have seen a group of skaters there not causing any damage, other times I have passed and seen groups of teenagers smoking and drinking.

People wonder why the skaters don’t use the skating area assigned especially for skateboards in the local park. But often I find the majority of people in the skatepark are young children on scooters carelessly going around the park not minding where they are going, and also kids who are left run around the park on nothing. I also witnessed one day, a parent of a child giving out to a skater saying that they shouldn’t be there as its a place for kids! There is a list of rules placed at the park which clearly states that nobody under the age of 10 should be in the skating area and only Skateboards, BMX’S and Inline Skates are allowed.

If the skaters are being pushed out of the park and onto the streets, where are they to go? With people just hanging around the park and not doing anything to people who are there and get in everybody’s way, there should be someone there to maybe enforce the rules of the park?

With the blame of what happened to the plaza being put on the skaters, maybe we should think again and wonder why would they do that? That it could have been others? But publicly accusing these people is wrong and should not be done.

The plaza is a mess, barriers all around it. It is very unfair to accuse the skaters of something so important without knowing for certain that they did it. And maybe if the park wasn't such a mess they could skate in the designated area.

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