Pictured at the new Mungret Inclusion Park and Playground were, Kayla Mulcahy, Lexie O’Donoghue, Aoife Carroll, Liam Mulcahy, Sophies Journey, Valerie Dunne, C4SC, Gerard Lynch, Team Sophie, Christine O’Donoghue, Keith Walker, Kompan and Dion O’Dowd. Picture by Alan Place.
Mungret Inclusion Park keeps the needs of children of all abilities in mind
The new park and playground in Mungret has been designed and constructed with the needs of children of all abilities in mind.
The Mungret inclusion park and playground, which opened Friday, August 5, is on an 11-hectare site. Comprising of 3,000 square metres the park is specifically designed to accommodate non-able-bodied children as much as possible.
On July 23, 2013, Liam Mulcahy of Sophie’s Journey Foundation approached the Limerick Council, while working through Cycle4Sick children, with a sketch of his plans for a park for the Limerick community that would be inclusive of people of all abilities.
The plan initially began when Mr Mulcahy was fundraising through the organisation he founded called Cycle4sick Children, but since Sophie passed they have set up Sophie’s Journey Foundation, which focuses on kids with life-limiting illness and raises funds for local children’s organisations.
“The walkway will be fully wheelchair accessible and will offer families the opportunity to experience the beautiful tranquility that Mungret has to offer. It will also provide people in the nearby University Hospital an area to relax with peace and quiet,” Liam Mulcahy told ilovelimerick prior to the park’s opening.
Tara Flanagan, Senior Executive Engineer with Limerick City and County Council said, “When we sat down to design the playground, we had the needs of less able and non-able-bodied children in mind. Drawing from our experiences with other council-owned playgrounds across the city and county, we knew the playgrounds were being enjoyed by everyone.”
“The play equipment is suitable for both and encourages dual use by able-bodied and non-able-bodied children, while there is a sensory area for children on the autistic spectrum. Limerick City and County Council worked closely with Cycle for Sick Children and Sophie’s Journey Foundation in relation to the design to get a real appreciation of the needs of non-able-bodied children. Kompan Ireland, who installed the playground, really captured our thinking in their equipment design,” she added.
With two kilometres of walk and cycle paths and stunning views from the top of the site; the Mungret inclusion park will suit people of all ages and abilities. Adult exercise equipment and benches are being provided along the perimeter of the park and landscaping will continue throughout the coming months, to make people’s walks and workouts more visually pleasing.
The playground will be open from 8 am to 9 pm from May to September and 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, from October to April.