After a long struggle, Kilbarrack finally has a new area for children to play in
After a protracted effort that began more than twenty years ago, there is finally a new children’s playground in Kilbarrack in front of the Kilbarrack All Weather pitch facing on to Greendale Road at the top of Thornville Road.
A significant role in advocating for the playground was played by the Kilbarrack Coast Community Programme (KCCP), who are rightly proud and delighted with the result. After organising several meetings in the community around the issue of the playground, KCCP elected two representatives (Lenann Clarke and Stephen Hutton) who made a presentation to Dublin City councillors and officials, members of the Northern Area Committee.
On foot of this campaign, funding was allocated to the new playground and the process of planning went ahead.
It was still a massive task, however, to actually get the playground built.
And to make matters worse in 2016, KCCP lost a safe space for children’s play when a new fence was put up right outside their exit, creating a prison-like atmosphere. In response, a fantastic video, produced and directed by Tiernan Williams called Kilbarrack’s Ode to Bansky was released in August 2016.
Later in 2016, Amy Fogarty launched an online petition that gathered 688 signatories and in October that year she was told:
In response to your query I can inform you that I am currently working on developing a playground analysis of the North Central Area for the purpose of identifying deficits in play facilities for this area. This is due to be presented at the next North Central Area Committee meeting. However, current records indicate that Kilbarrack has been identified as a deficit area according to Parks Strategy playground analysis. ‘Roseglen’ open space has been identified as a potential location for a new playground but as yet a delivery programme has to be identified following review of completed playground analysis for this area. I will get back to you with an update in the coming weeks.
Unfortunately, this did not result in a prompt build and despite several positive announcements, the process dragged on until now.
Finally able to announce the new playground KCCP said:
Two Dublin City Councillors were particularly supportive of our campaign – Councillor John Lyons and Councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha The playground may not be perfect and may need improvements but for a community that has been waiting for so long it is a great first step.
The work is nearing completion and KCCP have invited suggestions on necessary improvements: please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring Marian 01-8324516
Council John Lyons was equally delighted.
There is now a new playground in Kilbarrack. Happy to see that the community’s effort and persistence over a very long time has paid off!
Let’s hope that the kids in the area love it and use it as much as their hearts desire.