Skatepark group to be set up after another war of words

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Kilkenny Borough Council will establish a ‘working group’ to progress the construction of a skatepark in the St Francis Abbey site.

Kilkenny Borough Council will establish a ‘working group’ to progress the construction of a skatepark in the St Francis Abbey site.

A skatepark is currrently one of the proposed elements on the working draft of the site masterplan. The new group is to include elected representatives as well as ‘local participants in both skateboarding and BMX biking’. Kilkenny remains the only city/town of its size in Ireland without a skatepark. A local group has purchased equipment for building an indoor park, due to the council’s ongoing failure to provide a facility.

Cllr Sean O’ hArgain tabled a motion at the January meeting of the borough council, which said the skatepark should be one of the first features in place on the site, and that a working group should be established to deliver it within the next two years. He said that monies raised for a skatepark should be given to the group/committee to go toward a free, public outdoor park.

But Cllr Andrew McGuinness said he was disappointed that Cllr O’ hArgain put down a notice of motion without talking to the rest of the members.

“We all met to progress the idea of a skatepark and I thought we were in the process of ironing out the issues. I think [Cllr O’ hArgain] is jumping the gun here for political gain,” he said.

“We agreed we would keep politics out of this.”

The motion was agreed, and Mayor Martin Brett said he would write to Darragh Butler, who has some expertise in the matter, and ask him to meet the council.