PLANS ON HOLD: Beaufort Community Council say plans for a community playground are on hold. Pictured were: Padruig O’Sullivan (Chairman) with committee members, from left: Matt Breslin, Margaret O’Shea, Michael Foley, John O’Sullivan and Tim Moriarty at Beaufort Bridge. Picture: Eamonn Keogh
By Michelle Crean
Beaufort residents have no choice but to put plans for a community playground on hold – due to the €100,000 cost of purchasing a local site.
They say unless land is donated by a kind-hearted local or Kerry County Council can offer a site – plans will have to be scrapped for now – unless they can come up with the money to buy a site locally.
Padruig O’Sullivan, Chairman of Beaufort Community Council, who has been working on the project for a number of years with locals, says the committee are disappointed that they can’t progress the project.
“There was a site identified four years ago and we were looking at that,” Padruig told the Killarney Advertiser this week.
“The cost of the site was a six figure sum, over €100,000. It appears to be the only site available. We contacted Kerry County Council but they didn’t have any funding to assist with the purchase of the site.”
He’s says they’re disappointed not to be able to develop the site sooner as Beaufort has a vibrant and young community.
“There’s a very young vibrant community and they would all like to have this facility within our community rather than have to travel to other towns. The cost of buying it – at the moment it’s beyond our means. We have to put it on hold.”
Councillor Michael Cahill has also called on Kerry County Council to assist the residents of Beaufort.
He said it is very unfair that a parish the size of Beaufort, with a large number of families with young children does not have such a facility within their community, and that Kerry County Council should also take into consideration the popularity of Beaufort as a holiday destination and the large number of young families who holiday in the area.
“Beaufort Community Council have endeavoured to secure a site for a playground over the past couple of years and I am now calling on the Council to renew their efforts,” Cllr Cahill said.
“Surely there is a suitable site available somewhere in Beaufort.”
Acting Area Manager John Breen from Kerry County Council said that they have offered significant assistance to the local community group in Beaufort to develop a playground within the village.
“To date, efforts have been hampered by the absence of a suitable site. The Council does not have any lands in the area that would meet the required specifications for a playground site. The local group are to continue with their efforts to identify and secure a site.”
In the meantime, Beaufort locals continue in their efforts to make their community a better place to live and are currently fundraising to help upgrade the old community centre which was built in the 1970s. They have €53,000 Leader funding ringfenced for this but need to gather a further €20,000. They are planning a concert with Sean Keane tonight (Friday) in the Dunloe Hotel, at 8pm. Tickets are still available and are €25 each.