The Mall in Longford town is set for a five figure upgrade to its outdoor gym equipment and playground area.
The Albert Reynolds Peace Park, otherwise known as The Mall Complex is set for a major upgrade, a meeting heard last week.
Longford Municipal District's September meeting was told approximately €20,000 had been allocated towards the upgrade of the facility's outdoor gym equipment.
Area engineer Eamon Bennett said the five figure sum had come on stream as part of a yearly capital amenity programme.
Despite the broad welcome for the increased investment, a number of elected members led by Fianna Fáíl's Joe Flaherty suggested half, or at least part of the funding should be directed at other equally popular amenities within the facility.
“In terms of priority, the children’s playground there radically needs to be updated,” he maintained.
“It would be ridiculous to spend money on outdoor gym equipment when we desperately need to upgrade that playground.
“It gets huge use.”
In a plea which received cross party support, Cllr Peggy Nolan re-opened the debate for a park warden to be employed.
This, she stressed, was needed to ward off the types of activity she witnessed at first hand during the summer.
“Several times over the summer I left the park for fear of getting myself into deep trouble and I don’t mind saying it publically. We had adults actually on the equipment where kids were wanting to use the equipment,” she said.
On one particular occasion, she told of seeing a man of “about 20 stone” sitting in one of three bucket swings which would more commonly be utilised by clients who access St Christopher's Services.
It was a statement which would later draw laughter aplenty when Cllr Flaherty appeared to playfully suggest it was he who Cllr Nolan was referring to.
“I am not 20 stone,” quipped Cllr Flaherty, to much amusement.
Director of Services John McKeon said funding for a prospective warden would be installed in next year's budget, but warned the ultimate deciders in the process were the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.
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