On Wednesday the 14th of June, in front of a big crowd, including many excited local school children, the Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr. Pat Fitzpatrick officially opened Slieverue Linear Park. This new amenity space, located at the northern end of the village, was delivered under two phases. Under Phase One works commenced back in 2021 having secured funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme whilst Phase Two commenced late last year and was completed recently.
Speaking at the event, the Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr. Pat Fitzpatrick noted “The Elected Members of Kilkenny County Council, recognising the importance of outdoor recreational opportunities for communities, in terms of physical health and mental wellbeing, were fully supportive of the Slieverue Community Resource Centre Committee when approached to deliver Phase 2, the final stage, of this project. So, when the opportunity arose to work with Kilkenny LEADER Partnership and the local community, to advance this project, the Council were more than happy to do so”. Adding that “projects like this show what can be delivered when there is a real desire and a collaborative approach taken by key stakeholders to deliver for communities” and he complemented all involved.
The new Park has been designed to promote an open space where both people and biodiversity can flourish. It includes a central pathway that forms part of a wider walking route within the village, natural woodland play and exercise equipment, seating areas, an outdoor class room with blackboard and basketball area. Surrounding these features the Park evolves into a more natural setting with a strong focus of native biodiversity planting and wildflower meadows.
Frank Stafford, A / Senior Engineer, from the Project Office and Parks Section of Kilkenny County Council acknowledged the high-quality design and work undertaken by Council staff and Contractors and the positive contribution of the local Elected Members, Kilkenny LEADER Partnership and the Slieverue Community Resource Centre Committee in making this project a reality. Noting on the day that he hoped that the opening of this new amenity will bring much joy to the families of Slieverue and the surrounding areas for many years to come.
Also speaking on the day, local Resident, Cllr. Ger Frisby, Chairperson of the Piltown Municipal District, noted “It has been a long term objective of mine to deliver an amenity space, like this Park, for the people of Slieverue village and I’m delighted that this day has come.” He acknowledged the work of the various stakeholders and thanked the nearby residents for their input into the design process of the park. He also acknowledged a number of local businesses who contributed towards the required local match funding collected by the Slieverue Community Resource Centre. He noted “the importance of amenity and outdoor spaces such as this cannot be underestimated and I’m delighted to see so many school children in attendance” noting that they now have a safe place to meet, play and engage with nature.
This completed Park sees a combined investment of over €250,000 into Slieverue Village, made up of combination of funding streams including the Town & Village Renewal Scheme, Kilkenny LEADER Partnership under the LEADER Programme, the Council’s own funds and local funds collected by the Slieverue Community Resource Centre.
Declan Rice, CEO, Kilkenny LEADER Partnership, speaking on day, expressed his delight to see the quality of the end product and noted what can be achieved for the benefit of communities when there is real collaboration between stakeholders and strong leadership at community level. He acknowledged the support of his Board and Evaluation Committee for projects like this, this makes a real difference to the lives of people, and he complimented all those involved.
Seamus Murtagh, from Sliverue Community Resource Centre also spoke on the day and expressed his thanks to Council staff, Elected Members and his own committee members for all the work involved in delivering this project and noted what can be achieved when there is the will and desire at a local level.
Before the ribbon was cut by the Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Pat Fitzpatrick, the new amenity was blessed by Parish Priest. Fr. Kieran O’Shea.