On Friday the 13th I was on hand to reopen the wonderful new playground at Malahide Castle, there has been a playground in Malahide Demesne since 1988, when the Department of the Environment made a grant available to the then Dublin County Council of £15,000 from Lottery funds towards the construction cost of £45,000!!. The economic climate of the late 80’s did not allow for the provision of many such facilities and indeed the playground at Malahide Castle was the first regional parkland playground in the County of Fingal. Thankfully, since then, the Council has progressively extended its network of regional playgrounds and is now refurbishing the fledgling ones! Like Newbridge Demesne, Santry Demesne, Millennium Park and Ardgillan, the playground at Malahide at some 5,140m2 is one of Ireland’s largest playgrounds and now Fingal’s largest.
The refurbishment of the playground at a cost of some €420,000 represents a significant gain for the Community. This budget has been achievable through funding from the developers contribution scheme and also as a result of €150,000 received from concerts held here in Malahide in 2007. It has a wide variety of equipment for children of all ages and is divided into several areas to cater for different age groups, from toddlers to teens. At the centre of the facility is a majestic tower with slide-chutes, towers and bridges. This is a major attraction for all children. Older children will enjoy a range of equipment that demands physical strength and co-ordination, such as the ‘spacenet’ which offers them a challenging and rough climb.
Credit is due to the County Manager of Fingal Mr. David O’Connor and of course Mr. Senan Turnbull, director of services; it is also important to acknowledge the work of the recently retired, Senior Parks Superintendent ,Michael Lynch, Kevin Halpenny and the staff in the Parks Division of Fingal County Council including Ruairi O’Dulaing, Therese Casey, Fergal Duignan as well as the local Parks Staff based in Malahide.