Tuesday 16 July 2019

Newtown playground is opened

Myles Buchanan

Two new playgrounds in Newtownmountkennedy and Rathnew were officially unveiled last week by the Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr John Ryan.

In Newtownmountkennedy, children can enjoy facilities such as zip wires, a trampoline, swings, tunnels and a playhouse, while the Rathnew playground has swings and a storytelling chair, as well as a teen area with kick-about, basketball, skate and BMX park and a hangout shelter.

Wicklow County Council were first approached about the Newtown play-park in 2011 by a local committee, Playground4Newtown, chaired by Michael Lane.

Cllr Ryan thanked both Mr Lane and the Playground4Newtown committee for their tireless work over the past number of years to ensure that a playground was developed for their children.

'There was a time that children were to be seen and not heard and I'm glad to see that those times have changed. It is clear from the numbers here today that this facility is well loved already by the local children and it is great to see the children playing outside in a fun, safe environment,' said Cllr Ryan.

He also thanked his fellow councillors for having the foresight to adopt the Special Development Levy Contribution Scheme, which ended up providing the funding for both playgrounds.

While opening the facilities in Rathnew, Cllr Ryan said the playground was an example of the council' recognition over the important role play has in children's lives.

'Play is a natural way to support developmental learning in young children; to improve their cognitive and physical skills; and to help them learn how to co-operate with one another - how to take turns, to be part of a team and to make friends,' said Cllr Ryan.

He emphasised the addition of a BMX/skatepark, parkour elements and hangout shelter for teenagers.

Tributes were also paid to the contractor Ronnie McKee and Play and Leisure Services Ltd.

Bray People