Playground in County Limerick officially opens on Sunday

Donal O’Regan


Donal O’Regan

A PLAYGROUND built by the community for the children of the community will be officially opened this Sunday.

A PLAYGROUND built by the community for the children of the community will be officially opened this Sunday.

One lucky pupil from the CBS or Convent National Schools in Doon will officially cut the ribbon at noon.

Doon Community Council, who have spearheaded the project, invite as many as possible to the opening.

PRO, Stephen Byrnes, called the project a “labour of love” by all involved.

The playground cost €100,000 to build with Ballyhoura giving €90,000 and over €11,000 raised locally.

A playground was first brought up at a Doon Community Council meeting in early 2011. Just over a year later it has been opened to the public.

Mr Byrnes said a sub-committee was formed with himself, Mary Neilon and Alan O’Brien. They were joined by three outside members Mary Blackmore, Bernard Crowe and Anne Marie Richardson who lent their expertise.

“We did research in the schools, found out how many kids we had in Doon, costings and would we need it. Everything pointed to the fact that there was a huge demand for it,” said Mr Byrnes.

And since it opened on March 9 crowds from Doon and further afield have been flocking to the playground.

The site is located to the side of the community centre, which belongs to the community so no land had to be bought.

Following planning permission granted by Limerick County Council and the tendering process, Spraoi Linn were the chosen builders.

Ballyhoura confirmed funding of €90,000 in January and the community council had to raise 10 per cent of the cost.

Due to the generosity of locals they raised over €11,000.

“We got €953 from a church gate collection; the Bleisce magazine gave us €5,000; Doon Vintage Rally €2,000; Paddy Dakar event €290; pennies for the playground jars €600; Halloween kids disco €750; we got an anonymous donation of €1,000; Kentz Engineering €200,” said Mr Byrnes.

The girls and boys school gave almost €700 between them.

“People were so generous. It is incredible,” said Mr Byrnes.

They made sure every cent was invested in to the playground.

“Loads of local volunteers helped out for free. They helped with the foundations, knocking trees, digging drains, building a new wall.

“Lots of general work was completed to get the place ready for the contractors,” said Mr Byrnes, who also thanked Limerick County Council as they have taken over the public liability insurance and are giving an annual maintenance grant.

After the ceremony on Sunday at noon Mr Byrnes said there will be a party in the community centre next door.