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20 May 2022

In Pictures: Boundless fun at brand new Laois playground in Ballinakill

On Friday the 11th of March 2022 the Páirc na Coille Playground, located in Ballinakill Amenity park, was officially opened. 

The name, Páirc na Coille was chosen by Leah Dunphy and Róisín Kearney from Ballinakill NS and Graham Carr from Knock NS and echoes the Irish for Ballinakill - “Baille na Coille”, or Town of the Woods.

While the day began wet and windy, there was a perfectly timed break in the weather for the opening and the sun shone down on the happy faces of the many children that had gathered there eagerly awaiting the opening of the gates.

Speaking at the opening, Liz Kennedy, Chairperson of Ballinakill Community Development Association, welcomed the large crowd. Praising the whole community, Liz said that there were “no boundaries, age-profiles or gender differences among all who were part of this wonderful facility” and thanked the community of Ballinakill for “their encouragement, support, praise and practical help”.

The event was attended also by Councillors from Laois and representatives from Laois County Council and Laois Leader. Cathaoirleach Conor Bergin welcomed the crowd and paid tribute to everyone who was involved in getting the playground to this stage, including the parish who generously provided the land. Noting that he had no doubt that the “playground would be used day in day out” he wished all the children who use the playground “happy and fun days”.

Donal Brennan, Director of Services, spoke on behalf of Laois County Council and Michael Cobb on behalf of Laois Leader. Both commended the community of Ballinakill and Ballinakill Community Development Association, who, through planning and fund raising worked tirelessly to reach this important milestone.

After Fr. Conlon and Canon Harvey blessed the playground and wished all who visit safe and happy times there, the ribbon was cut and the gates Páirc na Coille were officially opened. Within seconds the playground was flooded with excited children who wasted no time in trying out the many attractions.  

The playground, located next to Ballinakill outdoor swimming pool, is a safe and accessible space for all and is an ideal place to bring children to play. It will be open every day from 9am to 7 pm with later opening in the summer months. 

The Ballinakill Community Development Association would like to thank everyone involved in making the playground happen and all those who helped with the opening. They would also like to remind readers that they are seeking volunteers, in any capacity, and would welcome contact from any interested parties.

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