Kildare town gardai are warning local parents to keep an eye on their children because of the dangers of the derelict Magee Barracks, writes Laura Coates.
Thieves have stripped the premises of scrap metal and copper wiring, which could reportedly be worth tens of thousands on the black market.
Sgt Paul Pender of Kildare Garda Station confirmed that there has been problems for years with thefts from the site. “They have taken all the metals, including manhole covers,” he said.
The army moved out of Magee Barracks in 1998, and the site is accessible in several places. But local kids who hang out at the site could be putting themselves at serious risk of injury or worse.
Locals in nearby Rowanville have been plagued with fires, vandalism and anti-social behaviour at the site in recent years.
A spate of fires in summer 2010 left many in fear for the safety of their own homes.
“It is a very dangerous site, particularly in relation to child safety,” said Sgt Pender. “We have had several incidences of children from nearby estates going in there. We are urging parents to make their children aware of the inherent dangers at the site.”
Neither local gardai nor the Defence Forces are responsible for the security of Magee Barracks, which is under the control of the Department of Defence.
The site was earmarked for a social housing project during the boom years, which has since been shelved. It is now effectively up for sale.