Calls in Cork for ‘radical investment in playgrounds’ from central government

Labor Party members in Cork have called on the government to increase funding for local authorities to build new playgrounds and improve existing facilities.

It comes as this week it was announced that Cork City Council and Cork County Council will each receive just over €16,500 to renovate playing fields in Blarney Park and Garryvoe.

The projects are two of 30 across the country to receive funding under the Play and Recreation Grant Scheme for 2022.

The application process was open to all local authorities and each local authority could apply for a project.

Although there was flexibility in special circumstances for a local authority to apply for more than one project on request, funding was capped at €18,000 for each local authority.

Allocation of funding is conditional on the local authority co-funding each successful project with 25 percent of the allocated state funding.

Talk to echoLabor Party councilor for the city‘s north east quarter, John Maher said that while any funding is welcome, what has been allocated is simply not enough.

“We have learned during Covid the importance of outdoor spaces. We have learned what they have to bring, but we only get €16,500 for the whole of Cork City – the second largest city in the country,” said he declared.

“The idea that we rely on small local budgets to build new playgrounds and improve existing ones is simply not good enough.”

This was echoed by local Labor Party representative Peter Horgan, who called for ‘radical investment by central government to meet the demand for play areas’.

Mr Horgan has asked his Cork East Party colleague TD Seán Sherlock to raise the issue with the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

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