Kilkee Community Playground will remain closed indefinitely unless the committee can come up with the funding to completely overhaul the public amenity.
The schedule of works required to bring the facility up to an acceptable safety standard will cost in excess of €20,000 and a community fundraiser has been launched in the hope that through their GoFundMe appeal the committee will succeed in hitting their financial target.
Fortunately, the committee has already received two generous donations, leaving a shortfall of €14,000.
Local county councillor, Cillian Murphy has pledged €5,000 from his General Municipal Allowance which is a discretionary fund for elected representatives who can put it towards projects in their areas while €2,000 has been committed by Loop Head Windfarm.
The committee will also be making applications with Clare County Council for funding under the Clár Programme and the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
Estimates received to upgrade the facility to a satisfactory standard are priced at in excess of €16,000 for the replacement of the current play surface and over €7,000 for the repair of broken equipment and the replacement of obsolete outdoor play equipment. Insurance liability has also to be factored into the over costs.
Currently the playground is closed due to Covid-19 restrictions but committee member Joanne Dillon is fearful that the amenity will remain closed indefinitely unless they can come up with the funding.
“Kilkee Community Playground aims to raise €14,000 to carry out necessary repairs and maintenance to the equipment and play surface of our playground. While the playground is currently closed due to Covid-19, we regret that for safety reasons we will not be able to open the gates on June 29 as planned and will remain closed indefinitely unless these vital funds are raised, “Joanne explained.
“While some of our local friends have been doing some maintenance such as painting the perimeter boards, getting ready to pour fresh concrete near the main entrance and creating a bright and colourful mural for the kids, this sadly isn’t enough to make safe for our children to play. In its current condition the playgrounds is not at all safe for small kids to run and play, she emphasised.
Ms Dillon pointed out that since the playground was opened 13 years ago there has been little or no investment in the amenity.
“The previous committee took out a loan to develop the amenity and we still have €130,000 outstanding on that loan which is quite substantial. All the funds we are currently trying to raise will be invested entirely in the repair, maintenance and reopening of the playground.
“We had an assessment of the work needed but in its current condition it is too unsafe to open. There are holes in the surface which is shrinking, curling and peeling back. It’s a trip hazard for children. Most of equipment needs extensive repairs while some more just requires minor maintenance.
“Its really disappointing that the playground is closed because Kilkee is beautiful seaside town. The beach is a good amenity but other than that there is very little for young children to do. That’s why we see the playground as being so important.
“We have a very passionate new committee in place and I would appeal to past, present and future users of our playground from Kilkee, our neighbouring communities, Limerick and afar, to please donate and save our playground,” she pleaded.
People can contribute through the GoFundMe page on Kilkee Community Playground Facebook page and on Kilkee by the Sea.