RTÉ sports broadcaster Jacqui Hurley is backing a fundraising drive to get a playground in place in her native Ballinhassig.
The development is part of a focus to enhance the heart of the village and make sure there are facilities in place for its growing population.
Ballinhassig Village Association, headed up by Denis McCarthy, was set up in 2017.
‘Our plan was to tidy up the village and make sure the housing estate Gleann Órga was incorporated into the village,’ he explained.
‘We identified two plots of land which divided the estate and the village, and after negotiations with the County Council, who have been very good to us, they gave us permission to develop them,’ said Denis. The initial focus was on transforming a 0.8 acre site into a magical fairy green, with a circular footpath, which has proved a hit with residents.
‘Then in 2021 we got permission to develop the second site. The Council cleared it for us and we raised €15,000 to have it landscaped. Our plan is to install footpaths here too, which would give us three quarters-of-a-mile of a walkway along the Owenabue River,’ he said. But first, their focus is on installing a playground in the fairy green.
The County Council has pledged €100,000 for the project, and the villagers now need to come up with another €15,000.
‘This will be a very important amenity for the community and all those areas surrounding us. As the population of Ballinhassig grows and with huge numbers of children in the parish, we felt that a playground was an essential amenity in the village,’ said Denis.
The hope is that the playground will be in place by Autumn.
‘It will be across the road from the GAA complex and the hall and it will really enhance the heart of our village,’ he said.
To donate see GoFundMe.