Swords needs more play and recreation facilities, says local advisor
Fingal County Council has been asked to conduct a feasibility study on the need for other play and recreation facilities, such as basketball courts and skate parks.
This follows the adoption of a motion, which was submitted by Cllr Dean Mulligan (Ind4Change), at a meeting of the Balbriggan / Rush-Lusk / Swords regional committee.
Cllr Mulligan pointed out that there is a distance of 20 km between the existing skateparks in Swords and Balbriggan, although these townlands have the youngest population in the country. He called on the council to act on the findings of a feasibility study within 12 months of its publication.
In response to its motion, Fingal County Council pledged to review the level of “non-sports play” and recreational facilities in the committee area, with a view to prioritizing their future provision through the investment program. This review will take into account the recently approved document “A Gaming Space – A Gaming Policy for Fingal”, advisers were informed.
Cllr Mulligan said Swords and the entire Northern County region are “calling” for improved facilities on open public spaces, not just MUGAs (multi-use play areas), but specific venues specifically designed for basketball. ball and skateboard.
He said the Balheary skatepark in Swords was “thriving” but more was needed.
“It upsets me when you compare the needs of this area to others that are geographically similar but have fewer young people and more facilities,” he said. “It’s not fair.”
Cllr Mulligan said skate parks and basketball courts are used by “very active” young men and women of all cultures and ethnicities.
“If you want to see multicultural integration, go to a skatepark,” he said.
Cllr Ian Carey (GP) said the Balheary skatepark attracts people from all over Dublin.
“It screams at me that we need more of these facilities,” he said at the meeting.
He said that while these types of facilities can be difficult to provide due to “pushback”, adolescents are as much a part of the community as anyone else.
“If we don’t keep young people occupied and give them places to go, they will find other ways to occupy their time,” he added.
Cllr Ann Graves (SF) said the diversity of groups using existing facilities should be taken advantage of.
“The Balheary facility is actually well received by local residents,” she said. “It’s great for their own children and teens and is used by all age groups. I don’t think that looking for a feasibility study is a big demand.
Cllr Brigid Manton (FF) asked why the provision of playgrounds and facilities for adolescents cannot be linked to building permits for housing estates.
Cllr James Humphreys (Lab) said that the fact that the Balheary skatepark is “overused” and that the attraction of people from outside the region has shown that there is a demand for such facilities.
Chief Parks Superintendent Kevin Halpenny believed the council report was “not at odds” with Cllr Mulligan’s motion. He said the recently adapted play policy had emphasized the need to care for adolescents and he expected it to be adapted and included in the new development plan.