An endeavour to provide the Innishannon area with a much-needed playground has kicked off with enthusiasm.
The Innishannon Playground group launched their playground campaign with an open meeting on April 20. An enthusiastic crowd listened to an excellent presentation on the progress to date and the plan-of-action to attain the playground in the shortest timeframe possible. Lending their support at the meeting were TDs Margaret Murphy O’Mahony and Michael Collins and Councillors Kevin Murphy, Alan Coleman, Gillian Coughlan and Ra-chel McCarthy
Three young parents presented an articulate and informative agenda of the facts. Opening the meeting, Karen O’Donovan, a school principal, outlined the huge need for a play-ground in the area. She highlighted the fact that parents are travelling 20km on average to surrounding playgrounds. She also pointed out the social benefits of such a playground in the parish and the vital physical benefits for local children. Tadgh Burke then outlined the progress to-date.
A site has already been acquired thanks to the local GAA club, the Valley Rovers. This site is located on the popular Innishannon Walkway, an ideal site equipped with a car park, playing fields and scenic riverside views.
The Playground Group is a subcommittee of Friends of Innishannon – a registered compa-ny with charitable status.
Lena Angland outlined plans on how the group intends to raise the required €160,000 to €190,000 euro to bring this playground to Innishannon. To-date, a grant of €12,000 has been attained from Cork County Council. Leader funding has also been applied for. The group also plans to sell notional shares in the Playground with the names of shareholders inscribed on a plaque beside the completed amenity. Shares can be bought for €500, with purchases and pledges already made. Families are joining together to buy a family share and also to commemorate a loved one. A local business gave €3,000 for their share in or-der to speed up the process of the playground. Housing estates, clubs and businesses plan to fundraise to buy a share.
In charge of finances is accountant Joe Walsh, the excellent treasurer of Tidy Towns who will now play a dual role.
The fundraising activities will kick off with a Barn Dance in Innishannon Hotel on June 16. Lena Angland pointed out that as a playground is all about fun, it is aimed to have as much fun as possible raising funds. A carnival is earmarked for the August bank holiday week-end. Amongst those present were Fr Finbar Crowley PP, Richard Good Stephenson Cha-riman of Friends of Innishannon, Peter Fehily Chairman of Tidy Towns and Johnny Crow-ley Chairman of the Valley Rovers. This will be a Playground built by the community for the community.
After the comprehensive presentation, a lively Q&A session took place demonstrating the passion and interest in this project.
Innishannon Playground group members Mary Margaret Desmond and Padraig O’Reilly were on hand to walk attendees through playground designs, take pledges and provide any additional information needed. People were invited to give feedback about playground design, as the group is now commencing the tendering process.