Community Groups To ‘Play’ Direct Role

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Mon Jun 30 2008

The move follows the launch by Limerick County Council of the ‘Community Playground Grant Scheme’, under which community groups rather than the Local Authority will steer the playground programme.

Today’s launch also featured the unveiling of plans to develop a new playground in Askeaton.

Local Councillor and Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council, Kevin Sheahan, commented, "I am delighted to see that under the Community Playground Grant Scheme the Council will continue to offer advice and, where necessary, technical assistance to communities in developing playgrounds."

The Cathaoirleach expressed confidence that the new partnership approach to developing play facilities would play a significant role in improving the quality of life for local communities across Limerick.

"I would like to congratulate the county’s community groups on the vital role they have already played in developing playgrounds throughout County Limerick. Considering they are working on a voluntary basis it is important that they are supported locally in conjunction with Limerick County Council. The Council looks forward to this positive working relationship continuing into the future with the result that we are making the county a better places to live in and visit", Councillor Sheahan added.

The process of making the provision of playgrounds more community led was progressed in February 2008 when a draft policy on the matter was endorsed by Limerick County Council’s Social, Cultural and Community Development Strategic Policy Committee. The initiative was referred to and endorsed by all 28 elected representatives of Limerick County Council in March.

Councillor Francis Foley, Chair of the Community & Cultural SPC, described the Community Playground Grant Scheme as a wonderful opportunity to show what can be achieved when the community and local authority worked together.

He stated, "The community led playground programme is being fully supported by all local elected representatives, as it will empower community groups to drive the process forward. Under this scheme, the Council will continue to support community groups in delivering further improvements in the quality, quantity and safety of play and play areas throughout the county."

Under the County Limerick Play Plan 2006-2010, Limerick County Council and local community groups have initiated numerous playground projects throughout the county.

Play facilities have been provided at Kilmallock, Cappamore and Newcastle West, while new playgrounds are being constructed in Castletroy and Abbeyfeale. Further playgrounds are planned for Askeaton, Rathkeale, Croom, Kilfinane, Castleconnell and Bruff.

Ms. Josephine Cotter Coughlan, Director of Services, Community & Enterprise, stated that there were many benefits associated with a community-led playground programme.

She commented, "Groups generally have undertaken fundraising in advance, in certain instances over a number of years, which allows Council funding to be allocated to more groups. A strong, dedicated community playground group exists prior to Council funding being allocated. Local groups have a better understanding of the needs of the locality. Groups manage and maintain the playgrounds after completion. It may be easier for community groups to get land to provide playgrounds and directly negotiate better deals with suppliers."

Ms. Cotter Coughlan confirmed that Limerick County Council was now inviting expressions of interest from recognised community groups who wished to provide a children’s playground for their area.

"Limerick County Council’s policy with regard to playgrounds is that it will assess applications for grants by assessing the benefit to the community and the geographical location of the proposed playground in relation to existing playgrounds. Meanwhile, the community association proposing the playground will be responsible for the design, planning, tendering and construction of the playground", she concluded.

Limerick County Council will part fund each playground to a maximum amount of €55,000 or 70% of the total cost, whichever is the lower. It will liase with the groups through each of the steps of the process, and is available to provide advice and assistance to the groups.


- To arrange an interview or for further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or
- High resolution images taken at the launch of the ‘Community Playground Grant Scheme’are available on request

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
Company: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Name: Dunphy Public Relations
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Contact Phone: 00353868534900

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