Austin Macauley 24 June 2015

Mind your language! Council introduces swearing ban

A local authority in Ireland has introduced a by-law banning the use of offensive language in public parks, playgrounds and open spaces.

Waterford City & County Council has used powers outlined in the Local Government Act 2001 to crack down on nuisance behaviour.

Under 'general regulations' relating to use of parks and open spaces it states: 'No person shall… beg, gamble, use obscene or profane language, behave indecently or cause annoyance.'

Cllr Lola O'Sullivan said the move was about encouraging respect.

'The “no cursing” rule is creating a lot of headlines,' she told the BBC. 'But that law has come about simply because you might have a group of teenagers who are in the park and are loud and using bad language.

'In fact, it might be the only time they use bad language, because they are out of the house.

'So we want to put up a sign that says 'no cursing, no smoking' among other things.

'I know in other cities, including Belfast, they have signs in their parks with a list of rules and regulations. So it'll be like that.

'Waterford doesn't have any more anti-social behaviour problems than anywhere else – we just want to encourage people to be respectful in the parks.'

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