Almost €60,000 cash boost for Laois village sensory garden

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Almost €60,000 cash boost for Laois village sensory garden

A Laois community is ‘absolutely delighted’ to have been granted almost €60,000 cash to add a sensory garden to its busy village park. 

Coolrain Playground is set to benefit from €59,160 cash awarded under CLÁR grants. 

A sensory garden is designed to stimulate the senses by using flowers, plants and materials to engage the sense of sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. The park is designed to benefit all members of the community as a place for recreation and education.

Kevin O’Sullivan is a member of the Coolrain Tidy Towns committee which was behind the project application. 

“This is a small park but it is used by a lot of children. It tends to be an excluded area in Laois. We have an ideal spot here to benefit all children. It will have a lot of plants and colour with play areas trying to get kids back into nature. 

“There will be smells, textures, things like wind chimes for sounds. It is great we are absolutely delighted with it and we have a nice park that a lot of people come to. 

“Every committee has a good few people working behind the scenes and we have a great community here for coming together. We have raised €15,000 in the past and done the work ourselves, there are funds to be raised for this grant too and we have our vintage run every October Bank Holiday weekend,” he said.

Laois TD and Minister Charlie Flanagan welcomed the announcement of the boost for Coolrain.

“I am delighted to support the development of a garden in Coolrain, Co. Laois, which I know will create comfortable, relaxing environments for members of the community to enjoy, no matter what their age or ability. I see the hard work done by members of community groups all over the county, and I am pleased that the government continues to support and invest in communities for the benefit of all," he said. 

On Monday, Minister for Rural and Community Development,  Michael Ring TD announced over €714,000 for 25 community groups who will receive funding for specialist sensory gardens under the 2019 CLÁR programme.

The Coolrain project was the second-highest allocation of funding at €59,160 with the Barony Community Development Group in Mayo getting €60,000. (See the full list at the end).

Minister Ring said these gardens can enhance the quality of life for people with life challenges.

“This year’s CLÁR programme will, for the first time, provide funding for the development of specialist sensory gardens and complementary play equipment. 

“These gardens are designed to stimulate the senses and can be of particular benefit in enhancing the quality of life for people with a diverse range of life challenges.”

“I am delighted to support the development of these gardens, which I know will create comfortable, relaxing environments for everyone to enjoy, no matter what their age or ability,” he said.

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