Addressing his fellow elected representatives and members of the council executive during the recent monthly meeting of Athlone-Moate Municipal District, Fine Gael councillor, John Dolan, asserted the positives with regard to the provision of a playground within the Portlick amenity.
“Children have descended en masse during this summer season in the Portlick amenity and I truly believe that the addition of a playground would be a positive development and enhance upon the numerous offerings within this popular location for locals and tourists alike.
“As a local authority we should engage with the local community group and discuss the prospects of such a development. If relevant and the future need arises we could apply to LEADER for funding towards the installation of a playground at Portlick amenity.
“There is an ideal location for the construction of a playground en route to the amenity and it does not have to be a complicated development,” Cllr Dolan stated.
In response, director of services, Mr Barry Kehoe, noted that playgrounds were more suited to urban parks and estates where play opportunities for children are more restricted.
“Portlick is part of the Lough Ree Special Area of Conservation and is also a Special Protection Area. The Portlick amenity is a unique amenity for families to explore the outdoors and to enjoy the natural environment at its most unspoilt and it is important that the council protects the rural nature of this amenity.
“Playgrounds are more suited to urban areas to provide play areas in urban parks and estates where play opportunities for children are more restricted and where there is optimal passive surveillance.
“As such, it is considered appropriate to prioritise urban and village areas for the development of playgrounds,” Mr Kehoe concluded.