Key role by pupils in funding Leixlip playground

FORMER Olympic athlete, Eamon Coughlan, was a star of the show when he opened the new Scoil Ui Dhalaigh playground in Leixlip recently.

FORMER Olympic athlete, Eamon Coughlan, was a star of the show when he opened the new Scoil Ui Dhalaigh playground in Leixlip recently.

Kildare North TD, Catherine Murphy, who had aided the school in discussions with the Department of Education cut the ribbon on the occasions.

The opening of the area will make it safer for children to play, according to Jill Murphy, chairperson of the Parents Association fundraising sub-committee.

For insurance reasons, children were not allowed to run on the tarmac surface of the school.

After a new school extension, the Department of Education granted the school money to repair the tarmac school playground.

But the school sought to have that money transferred to a new fund to build the all weather play area, which is about the size of a basketball court.

The Department agreed, eventually.

However, the new area, which cost €150,000 came about as a result of some hard funding raising, including from concert, a monster draw and other events. “The kids themselves put a lot of work in. They wanted it so much,” said Ms. Murphy of the two year campaign to build the playground.

They appeared to follow the advice from Eamon Coughlan, one of Ireland’s finest athlete: “Follow your dream and work hard.”

That work is not yet over. The school received a €70,000 interest free loan from a sponsor towards the costs and payments remain to be made.

A volleyball marathon is being planned now by the fifth class to raise further funds.