€120,000 skate park opens in Clondalkin

by Gazette Reporter
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YOUNG people in Clondalkin were given a boost this week as a new €120,000 skate park opened at Clondalkin Leisure Centre.

The facility, which has been the subject of years of sustained campaigning, finally opened at the beginning of the month, before the official opening this week.

The official opening was used to mark the launch of National Recreation Week, and was presided over by the Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald (FG).

Minister Fitzgerald was joined by the Mayor of South Dublin County Council, Cathal King (SF), as well as Fine Gael councillors Tony Delaney, Emer Higgins and Fianna Fail’s Trevor Gilligan, along with children from the area, FAI members and South Dublin County Council officials.

At the launch, she said, “As Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, it is a great pleasure for me to be launching the start of National Recreation Week here in the heart of my constituency, and it is an added bonus to be opening a brand-new facility for young people throughout Clondalkin.

“Some people think of ‘play’ as a luxury, and ‘recreation’ as frivolous. Nothing could be further from the truth – play and recreation are ways of promoting healthy living, as well as emotional and social well-being.

“Play and recreation are about improving outcomes for children.”

Minister Fitzgerald went on to pay tribute to the council and, in particular, to its staff who promote recreation, for the proactive role they take when it comes to supporting children and young people.

Her words were echoed by Cllr Trevor Gilligan (FF), who said the park could be used to stage national events.

He said: “I am delighted that this park is finally open. One of the many benefits to the park is the potential of staging annual national competitions for the best skaters from all over Ireland.

“Also, skaters from the area now have a safe environment to practise and skate.

“The park has been packed with skaters since its opening. I thank the council for their enthusiasm and the move to include the views of the skaters in the design of the park.

“I am calling on the Clondalkin skate park group to set up weekly tutorials, open to people across Dublin, who wish to enhance their skateboarding skills. I, for one, will definitely take part!”

Local skate enthusiast Tom Grinius said: “We’ve been looking for this for the past nine years and collected thousands of signatures.

“I would also like to thank Cllr Gilligan, who has pushed this issue tirelessly with the council and also the [council’s] parks department.

“I’ve been skateboarding in Clondalkin for the past nine years and there are a lot of skaters here of all ages. It is a growing community, with people progressing their skills every day.

“Skaters cannot progress without a challenging environment, which helps them to improve their skills.

“A skate park is exactly what we need and to have one in our own area is brilliant.

“This is the biggest and best skate park Dublin has seen,” said Grinius.

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