Press Release

Action not words on Play and Recreation Facilities

The Minister for Children Brian Lenihan T.D., today turned the sod for the building of a new playground and amenity park in Timoleague, County Cork and said that this represented action, not words, on the provision of play facilities. He also announced details of the Governments consultation process on the development of a new National Recreation Policy.

Speaking today the Minister said – “We are in the process of implementing the most comprehensive play area building scheme that this country has ever seen.”

“All children need to have somewhere where they can play and express themselves in a safe environment. Too often in the past we have seen that in many areas proper play facilities were not being provided, or that in some instances, that the facilities in place had seen better days and needed to be refurbished.”

“ That is why we have embarked on this major building and refurbishment programme. The policy is now beginning to make a tangible difference for the children of Ireland with 77 playgrounds being developed around the country at a total cost of €8.9m.”

To date a total of 39 playgrounds have been completed (details attached) with the remainder expected to open in the coming months.

National Recreation Policy

Building on the success of the Play Policy, the National Children’s Office is currently developing a National Recreation Policy. While the Play Policy focused on children of primary school age, the emphasis of the Recreation Policy will be on publicly funded recreational opportunities for teenagers.

“ I launched a public consultation on Recreation and Young People on 4 May this year. Approximately 900 responses have been received to date and the results of the consultation will help to shape the final policy.”

“ We propose to deal with structured recreation and examine ways for young people to be involved in organised activities be it recreational sport, membership of clubs or involvement in dance, art and music. We will look at ways of providing recreational activities for young people in a way where they will be less likely to be exposed to the temptations of alcohol or drug use.”

” We will also look at more casual activities such as ‘hanging out’ with friends which evidence suggests is an important part of how young people spend their leisure time. In developing the policy we will look to devise ways in which young people can be facilitated to get together safely in groups without impinging on other members of the community.”

” We will also look at increasing recreational opportunities for young people who are marginalised, disadvantaged, who are ill or who have a disability.

Investment in Playgrounds

” In conjunction with the local authorities, we are investing in funding either refurbishment work on existing playgrounds, or building completely new facilities in 32 separate areas. ”

Funding is also being provided to support the development or refurbishment of playgrounds in the 45 areas that have been designated as disadvantaged urban or provincial town areas under the RAPID scheme. Each Rapid area will receive a grant to develop or build play facilities in their area. All playgrounds in the scheme will be free of charge to the public.

“ This Government is committed to providing play and recreational activities for children and young people throughout the country who will benefit enormously from the playgrounds and facilities.” said the Minister.

Completed Projects Under the 2004 Local Authority Playground Grants Scheme

County Council Location of Playground
Cavan County Council Ballyjamesduff
Clare County Council Ennis
Cork County Council Charleville
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Cabinteely Park
Laois County Council Portarlington
Leitrim County Council Mohill
Mayo County Council Ballyhaunis
Meath County Council Athboy
Monaghan County Council Newbliss
Offaly County Council Tullamore
Roscommon County Council Loughnaneane Park
Sligo County Council Dramore West
North Tipperary County Council Thurles
South Tipperary County Council Carrick-on-Suir
Waterford County Council Tallow
Wexford County Council Enniscorthy
Wicklow County Council Kilmacanogue

Completed Projects under the RAPID Playground Grants Scheme


  • Drogheda
  • North West Inner City
  • North East Inner City
  • Limerick City, Kings Island
  • Dundalk
  • South East Inner City
  • South Inner City
  • Limerick City – South Limerick City
  • Tralee
  • Clonmel
  • Cavan
  • Carrick-on-Suir
  • Sligo
  • Youghal
  • Tipperary Town
  • New Ross
  • Wexford
  • Navan
  • Ennis
  • Kilkenny
  • Ballinasloe
  • Mallow