Council Affairs: Council cancel summer fun and games

Limerick County Council Offices in Dooradoyle.

I HAVE fond memories of kicking ball in the People’s Park as a young pup during the summer holidays and nagging mammy for money for ice cream and soft drinks at the kiosk. Happy times they were.

The People’s Park has for generations been synonymous with children playing. But this year’s school holidays are likely to be remembered as that time when the Council spoiled the frolicsome fun for ‘Fanta-filled f-kers’ the length and breadth of the city.

Like summer’s answer to the Grinch, the local authority have stepped in and closed down the playground at a time of year when children living in the city environs need a place to run free most of all.

For families living in apartments in the city centre, the playground at the People’s Park is a lifeline, and to close it for works when schools are closed is simply mind-boggling.

In fairness, the playground has been looking worse for wear for a long time and is in dire need of a facelift. But come on, is coordinating such upgrade works during the exact same time the schools are off really the best idea?

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Even the class clown causing disruption down the back could tell you that this is probably not the local authority’s brightest move.

The playground in the People’s Park closed just as the school bell rang so that a new, fully inclusive playground can be installed. Long overdue and a welcome development, but surely there was a more appropriate time to carry out these works?

I can’t wait to read council management’s report cards: ‘They have the ability to do better if they just apply themselves. Must try harder.’

There will be no more TikTok and YouTube for the executive until they up their grades, that’s for sure.

A little birdie in City Hall tells me that the reason the works are being carried out during the summer is because they can’t be done in wet weather. In all seriousness, you don’t have to come from the lanes of Limerick to know it lashes down rain 11 months of the year, especially in the summer. If weather was a factor, wouldn’t April and May have been a better time to ruin little children’s hopes of some joy?

Sure, it could still bucket down, but usually there’s a two-week window in these months where we actually get our blink-and-you-missed-it excuse for a summer.

Could they not have somehow covered the playground while carrying out the works in September and October when the ankle biters are getting stuck back into their times tables? Surely there was an alternative solution?

The current playground, we are informed, will be completely replaced, which is the basis for it having a complete closure while works are carried out.

In a statement, Limerick City and County Council apologised for any inconvenience that the closure may cause.

Tell that to the little mites whose summer has been ruined. Ruined, I tell you!

Looking at it glass half full, when the job is done, it should be a real cracker of a playground. I can’t wait for a go in it.

According to the council, it will include fully wheelchair accessible equipment, including a roundabout, a trampoline, and sand digger. The new park will also feature a sensory area, which will have numerous games panels, musical panels, and a storytelling area.

I just hope the rain holds off long enough for the kiddies to enjoy it.

And let’s just hope council management buckle down now to the job at hand and stop dreaming up screwy schemes that makes us look like we couldn’t organise a picnic in Curraghchase.

Knuckle down to it!