Extra protection measures are being sought for Letterkenny Town Park following an alleged incident at the weekend.
Claims of a man handing out chocolate to children have sparked fears among parents.
The incident, reported by a local mother on social media, alleges that a three-year-old boy was handed a chocolate bar from a man he said was in the bushes near the children’s ‘Sweet Factory’ playground.
A pile of chocolate bars was then found on a slide, with a note saying “For Kids, from Santa”. The matter has been reported to gardaí.
Meanwhile, local councillors have called for park wardens to monitor Bernard McGlinchey Town Park to deter any similar incidents.
Cllr Donal ‘Mandy’ Kelly has contacted Donegal County Council staff about park safety.
“A park is supposed to be somewhere where you and your children should feel safe and enjoy it. If this is continuing, it’s going to give a grim view of our town park. We have a fantastic park there and we don’t want to see it going to the wayside,” Cllr Kelly said.
“I spoke with the Roads Engineer who is going to have a conversation with the town gardener to see what safety aspects can be put in place, whether it’s trimming back the trees, fixing up the broken holes in the fencing or putting in a new safety fence around the play area.
“A lot of parks have trees and bushes to add to the attraction, but if there are issues like this occurring you have to take the appropriate measures. If it means trimming back trees to open it you have to do that.
“Hopefully the CCTV will show the culprit and help catch the person involved.”
Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh has been campaigning for park wardens in both the Bernard McGlinchey Park and Ballymacool Park over the years. He said that the presence of park wardens would protect families and help prevent vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
Cllr Kavanagh said: “We have made such an investment into the park with the new adventure area, the kids playground getting done up and the Vestry extension, the last thing we need is getting a bad reputation. So many people use the park and I think the solution is to get more people using it and not to frighten people away from it.
“I am calling on the council to go back and look again at employing park wardens. The presence of a park warden, especially over the summer months when children are off school, could be all you need to stop this sort of problem,” he said.