MINISTER for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan TD was the leader of the pack in Dingle last Sunday as he led out the inaugural Dingle Marathon Charity Cycle.
The cycle, a new event aimed at raising funds for local causes, attracted a field of approximately 100 cyclists who left Dingle at 11.30am, with Minister Deenihan, their sights set firmly on a course around Slea Head before congregating back in town for a reception at the Marina Centre.
According to Mayor of Kerry Cllr Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald, the inaugural cycle managed to raise in the region of €3,000 for Am Spraoi, the local group who are raising funds in the hope of constructing a new playground near the Fungie statue in the Marina car-park.
"The playground will cost in the region of €180,000 to €190,000; Am Spraoi hope to get a grant for €150,000 but the additional €30,000 needed has to be raised locally and we are about half way there at the moment," the mayor told The Kerryman.
According to the mayor, the proposed site for the new playground is adjacent to the pier, on the left hand corner of the Marina car-park. Planning permission for the project is being currently sought.
"We are grateful to Ken Dunne for establishing this cycle, which it is hoped will take place the day after the Dingle Marathon in aid of different causes every year," Mayor Cosaí Fitzgerald added.
"Minister Deenihan completed the entire course around Slea Head despite the heavy showers and we are delighted that he was able to lend his support and take part."
Community Employment workers have recently given the town's existing playground in the Orchard on Grey's Lane an overhaul but, according to the mayor, it is yet unclear as to whether an entrance from Orchard Lane into the old playground, which would allow pedestrian access from Main Street to Grey's Lane, will be permitted.