BY SEÁN P. FEENY
ON TUESDAY afternoon the newly refurbished Sweet Factory play in Letterkenny’s Bernard McGlinchey Town Park was officially re-opened.
While existing play facilities were updated, the area was also extended to include a special needs accessible play facility.
The play area cost €25,000 and funded by Letterkenny Town Council in partnership with the Special Needs Accessible Playpark charity initiative (S.N.A.P.).
There had been reports that the new play area had been vandalised over the weekend, but Town Clerk, Mr Paddy Doherty said there was only minor damage caused.
“There was some very minor damage caused to the safety surface in the refurbished play area, but that was immediately fixed, well on time before the official opening.”
S.N.A.P. has been working towards the provision of a special needs accessible play park for some time and was one of the charities to benefit from this year’s Northwest 10k.
“The new facilities, already in place and still proposed, will allow children with a disability to play alongside their friends and siblings. SNAP works closely with a number of groups involved in work with children and adults with a disability throughout Donegal.
Mr Doherty said the funding from the town council was allocated to the project in the last budget and covered the extension and refurbishment of the area.
“This has been an ongoing collaboration between the town council and S.N.A.P., who have done a lot of fund-raising, over the past 18 months.
“The charity has proposed to continue its fund-raising efforts to be able to provide more facilities later in the year. The council is delighted with the final result of this ongoing partnership with the charity,” said Mr Doherty.
Ms Samantha Robinson of S.N.A.P. said: “Every child has the right to play and we are delighted with the new play area. We will continue to fund-raise for further equipment and a new sensory area and much more.”
A family open day is being held at the park on August 4 to bring parents of children with special needs and the whole community together and to inform them and show the wide variety of things there are to do for children of all abilities.
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