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Councillor Mary Howard said it is worrying that the four children are waiting between nine and 12 months for a CAMHS appointment.

Councillors claim ‘it’s not all child’s play’ for Ennis families

IT isn’t child’s play for youngsters living in the Limerick Road area of Ennis with a “dearth” of family friendly facilities in the locality, a meeting of local councillors has been told.
Councillor Mary Howard, speaking at a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District called for a suitable site to be identified to provide a playground or other facilities suitable for small children.
The councillor told how she had been approached separately by young mothers who are not local to the town, now living along the Limerick Road.
“Their husbands are working out of town and have the car with them and there is no-where for the mothers to bring their children.”
She said that amenities such as Lees Road and Tim Smythe Park are too far to walk unless the weather is good. She acknowledged the “great work” of the council in setting up community playgrounds, and suggested that new playgrounds could be included under planning conditions for any new housing development.
Backing the call, Councillor Johnny Flynn pointed out that millions of euros have been collected by the council in development levies.
“They were used for various important services such as water, sewerage and roads, but there were no playgrounds. A lot of new houses in that area in particular paid significant development levies.”
Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy said she supported the motion, however she pointed out that the Clarecastle playground is just minutes away. Councillor Flynn highlighted the “danger” of crossing the Clareabbey Roundabout for young children.
Councillor Colleran Molloy responded that she was just clarifying the matter and was not suggesting people should have to drive to a playground.
Councillor Flynn called for the introduction of ‘tot-lots’, small playgrounds specifically designed for very young children.
Responding to Councillor Howard’s motion, Adrian Head, Senior Executive Engineer, stated, “The Social Development Department wish to advise that the Social Development (Housing, Culture and Sport/Recreation) Dept. has no property in the area described within which to develop a playground and/or other facilities suitable for small children.”
Leonore O’Neill, Senior Executive Officer, added, “If a community group (or a group of individuals from local residents associations) came forward with a proposal for a playground Clare County Council would assist them in the initial governance and set up of a Committee through the RCDO’s and signpost them to any available funding schemes.
“A community playground is a facility provided by the Community, for the Community and would require significant local fund raising efforts to assist with the initial site purchase and provision of the facility. Local committees can also seek funding under the LEADER programme (administered by Clare Local Development Company).”

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