Vandals force closure of Strokestown playground

Strokestown playground has been closed due to an ongoing issue with vandalism. It is understood that the community facility has been targeted over a number of months.

The protective fencing surrounding the site has been cut and some equipment has been badly damaged.

Expressing regret at the closure, Senator Eugene Murphy, Chairperson of Strokestown Community Development Association, said the voluntary group had no option but to take this step because the facility had become unsafe.

“I condemn strongly the action of a few but I can assure you we will reopen the playground once repaired” said Senator Murphy.

“This will take money and time, but hopefully we will have it finalised by the summer. We are about to set up a GoFundMe account. We have also applied for grant assistance to help replace the damaged equipment.

“I urge the community to rally together for the cause and I know they will. This is the community’s playground and we will not allow others to force its permanent closure”.

The committee spent many years trying to get a suitable site. The facility cost in the region of €100,000, taking into account council and department grants and the contributions of the general public in the wider Strokestown area.

Senator Murphy: “As a committee, we are very upset about this closure. Strokestown is a lovely place to live in or visit. The people are friendly and helpful and each and every member of the community is appalled by what has happened. However, we are determined to have this facility re-opened to the public as soon as possible”.