More than 700 primary school children within a 7k radius of Clarinbridge are without a community playground, it was claimed this week.
Fianna Fáil county councillor for Athenry-Oranmore Martina Kinane says the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992 stipulates that children have a right to play and leisure activities in their own community.
Yet, she says, these rural children are being deprived of this facility. She claims the last time Galway County Council allocated funding for the building of playgrounds for the Athenry-Oranmore Municipal District was in 2007.
“I have been advised that there is no funding allocated for new playgrounds within the county at present which is plausible. However, I believe it is not acceptable that there are no plans at present to provide or even seek such funding going forward.
“Following my request for the breakdown of funding per municipal district towards playgrounds I was astonished to learn that the Connemara Municipal District has received approximately €1,900.000, Loughrea Municipal District approx € 197,000, Ballinasloe Municipal District approx €116,000, Tuam Municipal District approx. €219,000 and unbelievably that Athenry-Oranmore Municipal District received just €23,000 along with € 60,000 allocated to Headford which was in the electoral area at the time but is now in the Tuam Municipal District.”
Cllr Kinane is accusing Galway County Council, which has responsibility for the development of playgrounds for the county, of not fulfilling its responsibility to the Athenry-Oranmore Municipal District and the children of Clarinbridge.
“There are over 700 children alone attending national schools with no community playground within a 7km radius of Clarinbridge
“At a meeting of the Athenry-Oranmore Municipal District I strongly suggested that this matter becomes a priority for the Municipal District and proposed that it seek funding in the 2017 Galway County Council Budget to support the building of a playground in Clarinbridge.”