03 Oct 2022

Vandalism at popular recreation area in Kilkenny

Community group says they are disappointed at thoughtless acts of vandalism

Thomastown recreation area vandalism

Damage to a tennis court net at Thomastown recreation area in recent days

Thomastown Recreation Amenity Group has posted to their Facebook page about vandalism that has taken place recently at the recreation area in the town. They posted an image of a bench that was previously vandalised alongside more recent damage to a tennis net and a sun canopy that has occurred over the last few days.

The group have stated: "This is extremely disappointing for us and the community given the amount of money and hard work that has been put into this project. The gardaì have been notified and if anyone has any information they should report it to the Thomastown Garda station. Unfortunately a small element of our community want to ruin it for everybody else. The amenity has also recently been nominated for a Pride of Place award." 

The Thomastown Recreational/Park Amenity was opened by Minister Heather Humphreys, T.D., Minister for Justice, Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands and former Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr. Fidelis Doherty, in 2021. The outdoor multipurpose amenity is located beside the centre of the town and since opening has been a hub of activity with teenagers, children and adults enjoying a space where they can congregate outdoors, play tennis, basketball or badminton or just relax and have a coffee in the rejuvenated outdoor space.

The previously underutilised space was developed by Kilkenny County Council in partnership with a group of local volunteers called the TCRAG (Thomastown Community Recreational Area Group) and the Thomastown Community Centre. The state-of-the-art amenity secured €100,000 under the 2020 Town & Village Renewal Scheme to enhance the previously derelict amenity area behind the Community Centre. Kilkenny County Council delivered the project and also contributed funding towards the facility with Kilkenny Leader Partnership.

The works completed included resurfacing of existing run-down basketball and tennis courts, the enhancement of the open spaces including tidying up the site, removing old fencing, landscaping and the building of an amphitheatre/seated area. Other works included adding LED lighting over the courts and an outdoor accessible shelter with seating and picnic benches.

Anyone with relevant information regarding the vandalism should contact Thomastown Garda station. 

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