DURING an onsite meeting it was confirmed by Waterford City and County Council that Mount Sion GAA club is to receive a public safety investment in the form of a brand new footpath, as well as various ancillary works, to improve access to the new Community Play Park.
The funding will come from a Council operated Slaintecare fund that is geared towards shovel ready projects to improve access to and promote a healthier lifestyle for Waterford City communities.
Fianna Fáil Councillor Eamon Quinlan, said after the onsite meeting that, “Our community department who part financed the new Play Park are well aware of just how popular it has become and how it is a true meeting place for families from all over. As such, when funding became available to improve the infrastructure in the area, it was a no brainer. The footpath will be longer than a full pitch and will cost a pretty penny but it’s very much worth doing. We will be going from the top of Oznam Street to the main car park adjacent to the Play Park near the Marian Park entrance. The large numbers of pedestrians, parents pushing buggies, people using wheelchairs as well as car users, all share the same entrance and road in. By improving safety we are hoping to entice more people to get out, walk, exercise with all the facilities now present.”
The lands in the area are all in Council ownership and while the Play Park is directly owned by the local authority for insurance reasons, the rest is on a 99 year lease with Mount Sion. Its positioning in the area, along with links to the local Mount Sion primary and secondary schools have made it a hub of activity. Walking clubs have also emerged in recent times and the summer Government push to emphasise outdoor play for children has meant the Council readily agreed to improve conditions in the area.
“The area has been a resounding success and now hosts community game events, a recycling centre, facility for physiotherapy, a social centre, yoga classes and outdoor coffee dock with picnic benches. The public are encouraged to use all, with both the Club and Council consistently reminding people that the Play Park is a free public asset and no Club affiliation is required in order to use it,” he said,
Cllr Quinlan says the new footpath it is another strong investment in the “Top of the Town and that’s what is needed to ensure our next generation want to live here”. The works should start soon and take approximately two to three weeks. The main entrance will be open during construction.