New scout garden is opened in Limerick after grant from JP McManus

COMMUNITY: Shannon Banks scouts give former sewage plant a new lease of life

New scout garden is opened in Limerick after grant from JP McManus

A FORMER sewerage plant which was overgrown with weeds has been given a new lease of life thanks to the hard work of a scout group in Shannon Banks.

The 25th Oliver Plunkett branch of the scouts bought the land from Clare County Council with a grant from the JP McManus community fund. 

Over the last five years, countless volunteers have worked hard to clear the site and turn it into a den for the group, featuring hits, climbing frames and picnic tables.

And this week, the chief scout of Ireland Christy McCann came to Limerick to officially open the facility, which was blessed by local priest Fr Derek Leonard.

A burst of autumn sunshine set the tone for a wonderful day, which also saw three youngsters – Darragh Portley, Jessica Rennicks and Eoin Minogue, all 12 – secure prestigious chief scout awards.

To secure the medal, the trio had to carry out a number of tasks including backwards cooking, emergency first aid, a 20km hike, and surviving in the wild.

Speaking after the ribbon was cut at the adventure garden, the chairman of the scout group Dan Stapleton paid a warm tribute to everyone who helped turn their dream into a reality.

He said: “As you can imagine, to complete our project, we had a very large ‘to do list’, and for a time, nobody was safe from getting a job or finding themselves with a shovel in their hands. We have some great pictures of young and old helping out supporting numerous clean-ups, stone picking and other activities to keep us on track.”

Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan joined constituency colleague Willie O’Dea and local councillor Cathal Crowe at the event.

“I remember coming down here many a time when the old treatment plant was here, and there was a bunch of old trees and bushes behind it. It is fantastic credit to all of you that you have managed to turn that into what we are looking at today,” she said.