Proposal for Southill playground does not bring joy to all

Fianna Fail Councillor Catherine Slattery. Photo: Don Moloney.

NOT everyone was full of the joys in County Hall this week over the passing of a Part 8 for a proposed new play area at Castle Oak View in Southill.

The construction of the new playground on the Southside of the city will include all necessary site works, associated boundary treatment, and provision of drainage and light.

The works will also include preparation of the site, installation of a range of play equipment, a protective perimeter, safety surfacing, tree and shrub planting, site furniture, and the construction of a new uncontrolled pedestrian crossing.

Councillors were told that extensive consultation was carried out on the project going “above and beyond” with a survey carried out, the Garda Crime Prevention Officer brought in to walk the site, as well as meetings with residents and the Regeneration Committee.

Councillors were informed that that overall, the response had been very positive to the proposed scheme.

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Fine Gael councillor Sarah Kiely formally proposed the Part 8 at this Monday’s meeting of the Metropolitan District. However, in doing so, she expressed some reservations about the location which had been raised by the local community.

“There was a resounding welcome for it, however again, reservations were expressed about the location of this playground. They didn’t feel it was suitable. They thought the close proximity to the main road was going to be a big issue — that remains to be seen.

“We did try to highlight this a number of times in stakeholder engagement. I was present when the people of the area put these things forward and we just want it on record that some of the residents are not happy with the location, but, from my understanding of it, the location was the only location examined.

“We are where we are with this and I am happy to propose it but the people of the area have asked me to ask questions,” she added.

Seconding the proposal, Green Party councillor Séan Hartigan deemed the playground a much-needed and welcome development for Southill.

“It is well designed and welcomed by a lot of people in the community, but I would like the concerns taken on board about the proximity to the road and ask if that can be addressed,” he said.

Fianna Fáil councillor Catherine Slattery was far from impressed.
“I cannot understand how my colleagues in Limerick City East are allowing this Part 8 to be passed,” she fumed.

“You have stated that residents and stakeholders are not happy with the location. Why are we not listening to the people in the area?” she asked.

“This is just unbelievable that this Part 8 is being allowed pass when the residents and the stakeholders do not want it in this area.

“We need to listen to communities, we need to listen to people that are living in the area. I feel my colleagues here today are not doing that,” she concluded, adding that she would not be supporting the plans.