Park life: Limerick community seeks funds to keep town park alive

Áine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Áine Fitzgerald

Email:

aine.fitzgerald@limerickleader.ie

Park life: Limerick community seeks funds to keep town park alive

Cllr Liam Galvin; Celine McNally, treasurer; Gerardine O’Brien; secretary; John Sullivan, chairman; Mary McGill, ARA Active Retirement and Cllr Francis Foley

A LIMERICK community is appealing for financial support to ensure the long-term viability of their local town park.

Due to Covid-19, the committee behind Abbeyfeale Town Park cannot run fundraising events including the popular annual Dog Show, and, as a result, are looking to the generosity of the public to assist them in their endeavours.

“Recently we established a GoFundMe page on our Abbeyfeale Town Park Facebook page,” explained Gerardine O’Brien, company secretary, Abbeyfeale Community Leisure Ltd.

 In 1995, Abbeyfeale Community Leisure Ltd was formed with the purpose of purchasing and developing a 30-acre site as a town park.  It was necessary for a limited company to be formed to oversee the running of the park. 

“This limited company was also required in order to qualify for what was then called a FÁS scheme and to secure any grants that would be needed for this development,” Geraldine explained.

 “At the time we were blessed to get the FÁS scheme and 25 years later this is now known as a Community Employment (CE) Scheme which is under the auspices of the Department of Social Protection and it continues to play an integral part in the day-to-day running of Abbeyfeale Town Park”. 

The CE workers cut the grass, maintain flower beds, trim trees and hedges, pick up the litter and undertake individual projects as planned by the committee.  

Only recently the committee secured €60,000 from the Urban and Village Renewal Scheme to upgrade all the pathways around the park.

In the past two years Abbeyfeale Town Park has been awarded the internationally recognised Green Flag with the help and support of Abbeyfeale Community Council.  It is one of the few privately run parks in the country to achieve Green Flag status.  

The committee have now set a fundraising target of €50,000 to help keep the town park open. 

“We owe €9,000 to the bank from last year, we need €15,000 towards the upkeep of the park and the ongoing administration costs associated with having a CE scheme,” Geraldine pointed out.

“We need €10,000 towards insurance and auditor costs, and we also need €10,000 to €15,000 in reserve for certain grants that we need, what is known as match funding.”

Match funding is required by certain organisations to access grants for future developments.

“The more we have, the better our chances are for qualifying for these grants,” noted Geraldine. “We are losing out on certain grants by not having a reserve in the bank.”

The committee has established a number of different ways to make donations to the park fund. 

A GoFundMe page has been set up and more information can be found on the Abbeyfeale Town Park Facebook page

A standing order/direct debit can be made to the bank account and contributions can be made to the donation box in the town park. 

“Private donations would also be much appreciated and you can contact any of the committee for further details on 087 7729690 or 087 9282322,” said Geraldine.

 “Abbeyfeale Town Park would also welcome any new members who are interested in joining the Abbeyfeale Community Leisure committee.”