New Playground For Kilbarrack

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.

Satellite map showing the location of Kilbarrack's new playground as a red rectangle
Map showing the location of Kilbarrack’s new playground

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 info@kccp.net 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.

Superb Kilbarrack Murals Launched by Roddy Doyle

A positive welcome to Kilbarrack and Dublin Bay North

By John Lyons

Two superb artistic creations were unveiled in Kilbarrack on 10 July 2019, with Roddy Doyle on hand to add some literary flair to the launch of the two murals.

One of the murals was created by the Reach Out Project, a programme designed for 18-25 year old young adults. These individuals are likely struggling with one of a number of issues relating from a variety of psychosocial pressures. Addiction, mental health conditions and/or people just stuck in a rut are the main people who are the focus of “Reach Out” interventions.

They have created a piece of artwork with the internationally renowned graffiti artist “Solas”. This was facilitated with the support of Laura Larkin from DCC Culture Company and Iarnrod Eireann. It’s been an honour working with an Artist as brilliant as Solas and the young people in the Reach Out project have really enjoyed it: to the point that they were inspired to create and are now finishing their own separate graffiti mural, which was also unveiled on the day. Solas’s art piece celebrates Kilbarrack’s links with Roddy Doyle’s novels and the fictitious “Barrystown” which essentially represents Kilbarrack. It is also an effort to capture the struggle and spirit of those from Kilbarrack who would never give up. In particular we focus on three strong women: Brenda O’Connell, Ann Murnane and Kathleen O’Neill who represented the heartbeat of the community.

Roddy Doyle launches the new Kilbarrack mural

The second art piece completed by the young people celebrates the significant amount of successful people who have originated in the North Bay community of which Kilbarrack is a proud member. The young people felt it was important to highlight the amount of successful people in the mural, who have come from their communities. It was especially important that the mural is placed in the local rail station for a couple of reasons. The first being that the station is often the only feature some people see when commuting through Kilbarrack on the train. The second is that the train station has in the past, been a place of some antisocial activity. The mural is a positive, hope-filled artwork, strategically placed to have a maximum impact for vulnerable people who congregate around the station. But also, to educate others unfamiliar with the area. To visually show that the Kilbarrack community has a strong heritage with a proud and wonderful people residing within the area.

The Reach Out Project is part of Kilbarrack Coast Community Programme. (KCCP). In the 1990s Kilbarrack suffered from social disadvantage with high levels of unemployment and little or no history of young people going into third level education. KCCP was set up in 1997 in response to the “second heroin epidemic”, which was devastating our community. Year on year KCCP has increased the range of services and the numbers using the services e.g. our community counselling service worked with 150 people from the community last year. In 2018 the Health Services Executive conducted an evaluation of our services and concluded that we are an “exemplar Project” and that all our services are delivered to the highest standard.