€1.6 million skatepark delayed for over a year

By Maurice Garvey 

THE OPENING of the much anticipated €1.6m skatepark in Ballyfermot was delayed last year due to the withdrawal of an appointed contractor.

Initial hopes were that the project would be open to the public in December 2016.

Le Fanu Pk play park site

The skatepark is planned for Le Fanu Park 

Funding for the construction of the Le Fanu Park skatepark is from Dublin City Councils capital programme.

A DCC spokesperson told The Echo that the project has been re-tendered after the initial contractor withdrew.

“It is envisaged that construction will commence in the summer and be completed at the end of 2019 or early 2020,” said the spokesperson.

This time last year, the city council expected the appointed contractor to begin construction in March and a completion date of late Autumn 2018.

Back in 2015, the Matheson Foundation funded a design competition for the skate park, along with public consultation and engagements, in conjunction with the Irish Architectural Foundation.

The Foundation and the IAF were looking for a philanthropic project to create and DCC suggested Ballyfermot as an ideal location.

The IAF conducted numerous consultations in the local community during early stage plans for the project, which will be located adjacent to Ballyfermot Leisure Centre.

During the early stages of the plans, it was hoped that the project would be built and open to the public by the end of 2016.

While the project idea has met a mostly positive response in the community, there are concerns that the skate park will attract trouble.

Speaking last year, Fianna Fáil Councillor Daithí de Róiste believes the site needs to be “properly managed” from the beginning, or risk becoming an “anti-social hub.”

“My fear is that it is likely it will become a magnet for drinking,” said Cllr de Róiste.

He thought the project well-meaning but doesn’t think there is a significant demand for a skatepark in the community.

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