Public safety fears in Town Park in Tralee

Almost half (47 percent) of the people taking park in a public survey on Tralee Town Park have cited personal safety as a worry.

The online survey took place from January to February, 2020, and included contributions from 1,467 people. The survey age profile was highest (64 percent) in the 25-64 bracket.

The findings were presented at Monday’s Tralee MD meeting and they will help Kerry County Council in its plans for channelling funding to future schemes for Tralee Town Park.

But 18 percent cited safety in the park as ‘very poor’, while 29 percent described it as ‘poor’. When asked about ‘suggested improvements’ to Tralee Town Park, 26 percent (the highest number in that category) again highlighted ‘Safety & Security’ as a priority.

Anti-social behaviour, teenagers playing in the children’s play area, and calls for more gardaí were among the main areas of concern. The lack of parking for visitors also managed a poor return, with 30 percent describing it as ‘poor’, and 16 percent ‘very poor’. ‘Weekends’ is when the park is most frequented according to 37 percent of people; walking and running (34 percent combined) come out on top in terms of the most popular pastimes.

On a scale of 1-10, survey participants are 7.21 times more likely to recommend visiting Tralee Town Park to a friend. Interestingly, on the issue of volunteering to improve Tralee Town Park, 48 percent said ‘yes’, but 52 percent said ‘no’ to volunteering.

On the public safety aspect, Tralee MD Officer Jean Foley explained that Green Flag adjudicators on a visit to Tralee in July said the topic of public safety ranked highly in all town park surveys, and is not a problem exclusive to Tralee. She mentioned that the adjudicators noted the major improvements to safety at Tralee Town Park. “They said we’re not alone and this is a constant challenge; we worked on that,” Ms Foley said.

“We’re very fortunate in Tralee that we have a very good working relationship with the gardaí, who work very closely with us.

“They have a number of initiatives ongoing at the moment which they say are working very well, but this will continue to be an ongoing challenge for us,” she added. Ms Foley also thanked the people of Tralee for getting behind the survey. The Mayor of Tralee MD, Cllr Terry O’Brien, reaffirmed the councillors’ passion for Tralee Town Park, saying they are ‘never found wanting’ when it comes to improving the park.

“This is very much the jewel of our town,” said Mayor O’Brien.

“I think councillors found out harshly how quickly the town park can go down when we had that spell between replacing gardeners. As for [public] safety, we’re all aware of it, and it’s brought to our attention every so often, there’s always that one percent who will act the maggot.

“We support this survey and we will do what we’ve always done, which is support the park. We’re very proud of it,” said Mayor O’Brien. – News