Parents don’t want their children using the playground in Leap.
That was the stark warning that Cllr Karen Coakley (FG) issued to Council officials at a meeting of the West Cork Municipal District.
The councillor raised the issue to complain about ‘the awful state’ of the play equipment and to express her concerns that the equipment could be dangerous.
‘Parent’s don’t want their children going there,’ she said, ‘because the equipment is substandard, which is a pity because it is a lovely facility and it is in a good location.’
The playground is conveniently situated across the road from the church car park and is connected by a zebra crossing. But Cllr Coakley warned that the equipment is ‘of poor quality.’
‘Many pieces are broken and present a danger,’ she said. ‘There are nails exposed, rails missing, and uneven ground surfaces.
‘Much of the equipment is made out of wood, which doesn’t dry out easily and can actually be quite slippery and dangerous after rain,’ she added.
‘Because the equipment holds onto the moisture it is, as result, continuously damp.
‘The equipment also looks unappealing as there is no colour and it is very outdated. In fact,’ she said, ‘it looks very grim and uninviting,’ she told The Southern Star following the meeting.
Calling for an updated and safe playground for Leap, Cllr Coakley said it is needed for the primary school across the road, as well as the other two schools nearby in Glandore and Maultrahane.
Cllr Coakley said she has been contacted by several families who want to use the playground but for the above reasons they feel it is a Health and Safety issue and will not permit their children to use it.
‘It is imperative that the equipment is replaced with stainless steel equipment,’ she said, ‘and the upgrade should be done without delay.’
The Council’s senior executive officer MacDara O h-Icí agreed that the timber equipment will have to be replaced with stainless steel amenities. He said the Council will apply for funding and it will also work on updating its lease of the facility with the local community council.