Local Fine Gael Councillor for Kilkenny City East, Jimmy Leahy has called for the amenity property in Ballybough Street adjacent to St John’s primary school to be purchased by the County Manager, Joe Crockett on behalf of the people of Kilkenny. “This has to be done now and not put on the back burner,” he said.
Councillor Leahy added that when a development company was originally granted planning permission for a housing estate next to the area in the boom years, the County Council, in good faith, put in a stipulation that a portion of the ground adjacent to St John’s Senior School in Ballybough Street, was to be turned into a playing pitch for St. John’s Senior School and the wider community.
“Unfortunately several years have passed and I am very disappointed that no real effort has ever been made to make it happen. The school currently has limited outdoor, recreational, sport and playing areas and it is currently being facilitated by the nearby O’Loughlin Gaels GAA Club to help address these limitations
“With the increasing emphasis on participation in sport and exercise for all of us, it is highly important that school children have access to decent sporting and outdoor activity facilities both for their physical health and academic success.
“This is why I am calling on the County Manager to purchase the site so that these lands can be used for the benefit for the community. The purchase of the site would allow for the development of first class recreational facilities for the school and the local area.
“The purchase of the site is a great opportunity for the pupils of St. John’s Senior School and the people of the local community, one which shouldn’t be missed”
He pointed out that the for sale sign has been up for years and nothing has happened. “We must show the people in this area that they do have place in the overall strategy of Kilkenny County Council,” he said.
And he has been working with river users to improve access to the River Nore for canoeists and others and would love to see changing facilities and showers placed under Green’s Bridge, next to the brewery and close to the slipway there accessed from Greensbridge Street.