On May 16th, Mayor of Waterford City and County, Councillor John O’Leary along with the Cathaoirleach of the Comeragh Municipal District, Councillor Liam Brazil officially opened a trio of new facilities in the Comeragh area.
First off was the new Lemybrien Playground where Councillor Brazil spoke about the great facility now in place which was very much designed with inclusivity and special needs in mind and which was proving a fantastic attraction for families from miles around. He also spoke of the contribution of the local community under the leadership of Kevin Lonergan.
Next it was on to Mahon Falls where Councillor O’Leary and Councillor Brazil jointly opened the newly expanded and improved car-park. Here, the emphasis was very much on the growing recreational value of the Comeragh Mountains to both local residents and visitors alike. A landscape which inspires everybody who visits there but also a landscape which needs to be valued and protected. Again, the contribution and involvement of the local community was acknowledged, particularly that of the Comeraghs Development Group, and the cooperation of local landowners, particularly Pat Keating and the commonage owners of the lands leading to the Falls.
The final destination was Kilmeaden where the Mayor officially opened the new Greenway link connecting Kilmeaden village to the Waterford Greenway at Kilmeaden Station. Councillor O’Leary paid particular compliments to the work of Waterford and Suir Valley Railway, to the Council staff involved and particularly to the contribution of landowners John and Joan Stephenson, who had allocated a significant amount of their personal property in order to accommodate the link.
In Kilmeaden also, the Mayor, in conjunction with the local Kilmeaden-Ballyduff group, launched a new initiative called the Kilmeaden-Ballyduff Community Garden, the work of which will bring substantial joy to the residents of the area over the next number of years. At the launch, the group was represented by Peter Jacob, Linda Spillane and Declan Finn.
Across all three facilities, there were distinct similarities which both Councillor O’Leary and Brazil alluded to. All three were of a recreational nature and encouraging of outdoor activity. They were funded by various but complementary government programmes – the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme and the Active Travel programme. There was community involvement in all schemes and, vitally, there was huge cooperation from local land owners. Finally, there was real commitment for those entrusted with delivering the projects, particularly the Council staff involved but also the contractors employed by the Council who did excellent work on all three projects.
The Mayor’s final wish was that everyone who used these facilities, locals and visitors alike, would get joy, health and a feeling of well-being from their presence and that the Comeraghs area would continue to be a source of joy and inspiration to all who visit her and enjoy her beauty.