Clarecastle Community Development would like to thank the Community of Clarecastle and beyond as well as all those who helped out last Sunday at the official opening of Clarecastle Community Playground. It was a wonderful occasion for everyone.
Many of the local organisations brought together children for the opening parade with the GAA, Clarecastle Comets, Eileen Fitzgerald School of Speech and Drama, the Sharkey School of dancing, local creches and playschools to name but a few. The school choir led by Hilary Parkinson sang beautifully for the crowd and further entertainment was provided by local Comhaltas musicians and the Sharkey School of dancing.
Ger Ward, Chair of Clarecastle Community Development thanked all those who helped in the work to make the playground project a reality and in particular Clare Local Development Company, Clare County Council for their financial support and guidance throughout the process as well as the community for its financial contributions. Doirin Graham from the Clare Local Development Committee addressed the crowd and commended the work that had been done by the local Community in realising this project and hoped it would be one of many more for Clarecastle. She said the amount of work required for the playground should not be underestimated and congratulated CCDL and the wider community for their efforts. Paul Murphy spoke on behalf of Clare County Council who played a key role in the playground development and Joe Carey TD in his address reiterated the value of this beautiful new facility for the Community.
Fr Pat Malone and Fr Harry Brady gave a very appropriately worded blessing of the playground. Following this, Doireann Murphy and Zoe Griffin two local high achievers in the sporting and dancing worlds cut the ribbon to great applause.
Later in the afternoon, after all the little people enjoyed the playground facilities, a magic show and face painting, the “piece de resistance”….over one thousand one hundred balloons were set off on a race into the windy skies to the amazement and wonder of all the onlookers! It was a fabulous sight. There was a draw of three balloons for three cash prizes and the lucky winners were 1st Prize of €250 – Jessica Keane, Ard Aoibhinn, 2nd Prize of €150 Pauline Callinan, Crusheen and 3rd Prize of €50 David Tuohy. The final prize will be the winner of the balloon race which will be announced in around 6 weeks time – this will give a chance for the balloon tags to be returned to Clarecastle – the one that goes the furthest wins and apparently one has already been found in North Wales!!
This fabulous spectacle of coloured balloons floating away into the horizon helped raise funds for the continued maintenance of the playground and CCDL and this marked the last of the formal events. People continued to chat and enjoy the new playground facilities and the teas, coffees and cakes provided by the Tidy Towns Committee. CoderDojo was there to show off some of its work and Bernie’s Spar had some of its delicious home-baking to sample and take home. Just after 3.30 the rain, which had threatened but had held off for most of the proceedings, came to send everyone home.
The afternoon was a huge success thanks to the fabulous crowd that attended and the whole occasion is definitely one to be stored safely in the special “memory box” of Clarecastle community!
A small selection of photos of the day