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Fermoy Town Park is to get a new playground. Cllr Olive Corcoran succeeded in having funding sanctioned from the town council’s development fund for the project at their monthly meeting on Tuesday evening – but not without a fight.
Cllr Corcoran had tabled a motion calling on the town council to make funding available out of the development contributions fund for a new playground.
“The town park is the most valuable asset we have” she pointed out, saying that the playground there at present is only “adequate” and her fear was that, after the demise of the town council, it would not be replaced.
It had been suggested to her previously by a councillor to approach Avondhu Blackwater Partnership for funding, she explained, but she described that as “not a great option at the moment.” She chose not to reveal the estimated cost of a new playground, saying that she’d been advised that, as it would be going out to tender, it wouldn’t be appropriate for her to do so. She said she was delighted to have the support of Town Clerk Pauline Moriarty in seeking money from the fund.
“I want to ringfence the money in this fund for the playground. I know others may have other ideas as to how to spend this money,” she said. She pointed out that a new playground would be a welcome amenity for the town and would bring people in.
Town Clerk Pauline Moriarty confirmed that development contributions are ringfenced for capital projects such as roads, amenities and parking and that the project being spoken of would fall under the amenities category. As such it could be accessed for the purpose of providing a playground. She advised that there’s approximately €100,000 in it for the provision of amenities.
Cllr Corcoran had a deputation present at the meeting comprising members of the town park committee and other interested parties to hear the proceedings. Support for her motion came from Cllr Pa O’Driscoll who said the council needed to leave a legacy for when they no longer exist. He said he was delighted to support the motion and he commended her on her good work with the town park committee and praised other members too. There was support too from Cllr Colette Dolan Moore.
Cllr Tadhg O’Donovan threw a spanner in the works however with his trenchant opposition to the motion being passed without an amendment. He argued that it was “grossly irresponsible” to do so without knowing what money exactly is in the fund, and, after it had been pointed out to him that they were told it was €100,000, he held out, saying that should be specified in the motion. There followed heated exchanges between him and Cllr Corcoran who accused him of jeopardising the project and insisted the matter be put to a vote.
Mayor Michael Hanley proposed the motion be amended to say “subject to the receipt of tender prices,” and that was agreed. When the motion with the first amendment, Tadhg O’ Donovan’s, was put to a vote it secured the support of just one other member, Cllr Noel McCarthy. The motion with the second amendment, that it be subject to the receipt of tender prices, was then put to a vote and was carried with all other members voting in its favour.
County Councillor Frank O’Flynn said afterwards that was delighted with the outcome. “She had my full support. It’ll be a great amenity and will enhance the town,” he said. He congratulated Cllr Corcoran on bringing the motion.
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