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Locals share a strong vision for Ballydehob's busy playground

November 11th, 2017 7:15 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Local man Pat Hodnett helping with the equipment installation in the Ballydehob playground. (Photo: Andy Gibson)

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A SPIDER’S web was added to Ballydehob Playground just in time for Hallowe’en.

It is one of two brand new pieces of equipment that have been provided courtesy of the County Council at an estimated cost of €15,000.

Gerard Coughlan, who is one of eight members of a recently formed Ballydehob Playground Committee, said: ‘The children are delighted with the spider’s web climbing frame and the basket swing.’

Gerard, a father of four, described Ballydehob as one of the finest playgrounds around in terms of space and location, but he admitted it didn’t have much in the way of equipment.

Set against the backdrop of the 12-arch bridge and the estuary, the playground has lots of advantages, such as the large green area for playing ball games and simply running around, as well as ample off-road parking for parents.

But parents in the locality had started taking their children to other playgrounds because there were not enough swings, slides and amusements to go around.

The committee – which is made up of representatives of various local groups – is satisfied that there are now enough amusements for children in the five to 10 age group. However, Hannah Vaughan, another committee member, said they are also hoping to add more for children in the two to five-year age range.

Two more picnic tables are also due be added as soon as the Council prepares a base for both.

Hannah thanked Cork County Council for being so supportive of the community project and said: ‘As soon as we had a clear vision of what we wanted, the Council, particularly the area engineer Sarah Sinnott, was very helpful.’

But she said: ‘This is just the beginning of our vision. For too long the playground was under-utilised. A playground, like the one we have here in Ballydehob, is a fantastic thing for the village to have, but we would like more things of interest, so visitors will come here and stay longer.’

She said the committee is currently working on plans to make the playground fully wheelchair accessible by creating a path around the entire edge of the playground and creating lower climbing structures that would accommodate younger children and include children of all abilities.

Hannah thanked everyone in the community who contributed to their fundraising flag day and asked for their continued support for their new endeavours.

Hannah also thanked the local Tidy Towns Committee and the local Council employees for the ‘team effort’.

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