Council outlaws smoking and cursing in Waterford parks

No cursing, no smoking, no picking the flowers — these are just some of the rules recently implemented by Waterford City and County Council in a bid to curb anti-social behaviour in its parks and public spaces.

Council outlaws smoking and cursing in Waterford parks

The authority, which evidently feels very strongly about vulgarity, has decided to ban the use of “obscene or profane language” in these areas.

The tough stance is part of a raft of new rules which also ban all forms of smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes.

“Smoking is smoking, whatever kind of way you do it,” said Tramore and Waterford City West Fine Gael councillor Lola O’Sullivan.

“In relation to e-cigarettes, we don’t yet have any hard and fast medical information about them and we won’t for some time. So there’s no point banning them after the horse has bolted, so to speak, which is why we are banning them now.”

As far as cursing goes, Ms O’Sullivan said the rules are largely aimed at protecting children while they use playgrounds and other public spaces and ensuring they are not subjected to aggressive language or behaviour.

“As a parent of a young child, obviously you want the best when you bring your child to a public park or a public area,” she said. “You don’t want the obvious things like drinking, anti social behaviour, of course. But you don’t want people cursing around your child either or using abusive language. You want people to be respectful.

“If you go to any public place and people are being loud, shouting, using abusive language, personally I’d feel very intimidated.”

Ms O’Sullivan also thinks Waterford’s council could be the first local authority to implement a ban on profanity and is strongly in favour of the new by-laws.

“I don’t know of any other council that has put this in writing, we could very well be the first ones to do it,” she said.

“The fact we’ve put it in writing makes it clear that it’s not acceptable. We’ve marked it down and now nobody can say it’s not in the rules because it is. We’ve covered every angle.”

Anyone who breaks the rules, which also include restrictions on picking flowers, annoying other park users, and using model airplanes, may be removed from the park and could be subjected to a fine of €1,270.

People are also prohibited from begging, gambling or behaving “indecently”, and will not be allowed to have barbecues, bonfires or set off fireworks.

Anyone carrying a firearm, airgun, or catapult will also be in breach of the rules.

Bizarrely, no-one “other than an employee of the council” may cycle or skate in one of the council’s public spaces, unless there is a designated area to do so.

The by-laws, which were adopted this month, will come into force on August 1. Signs illustrating the rules will be erected in public areas shortly.

The rules will be enforced by parks attendees and, in some cases, by gardaí.

“Any person who shall breach any of the foregoing bye-laws may be removed from the park or open space by an employee of the council, or by member of An Garda Siochána and shall on summary conviction be liable to a penalty not exceeding €1,270,” they state.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.