A rundown Midleton play area is in line for a secure fence but, without the involvement of the public, upgrades to the play furniture are clearly off the cards. Sean O’Callaghan, County Senior Executive Officer, said he found the playground at Riverside Estate/Rosary Place “a pretty sad affair.”
The play area located in one of Midleton’s oldest Estates has only two swings and a climbing frame, and no secure fencing. Mr O’Callaghan acknowledged the state of the play area while responding to a Motion tabled by Fine Gael Cllr Susan McCarthy at the February Sitting of the East Cork Municipality. The Midleton based Cllr had called for updated play furniture and a secure fence to prevent very young children from running out onto the busy road that borders the site.
She said “While it’s an old estate there are some young families with young children now moving back into the area.” Cllr McCarthy also said that the playground at Park Street warranted an upgrade as it has not had any major improvement since its installation.
Sinn Féin Cllr Danielle Twomey, who backed her Midleton based colleague, said “One playground for the population of Midleton is simply not good enough. Ballinacurra needs a playground with all the new houses to be developed in Maple Woods. It’s absolutely disgraceful it doesn’t have a basic amenity.”
Mr O’Callaghan said Council is finding it difficult to find the resources to build new playgrounds.
He said “it makes it easier if there is a community behind it. The community can avail of other funding streams which Council cannot avail of.” Senior Executive Clerk Joe McCarthy said when the Town Council was developing the Park Street play area, public involvement was sought. He said that some had come forward but “it didn’t make anything that could be called a significant contribution towards the cost.”
Mr McCarthy said if the play furniture is to be upgraded “it would have to be community led, and they would have to raise a significant amount of funding.”
Although new play furniture at Riverside Way / Rosary Place may be a while off, Council say they will consider installing a secure fence around the grounds.