17 February 2012

Minister Frances Fitzgerald launches new National Play and Recreation Network

Minister addresses the National Local Authority Play and Recreation Network in Clondalkin

Local TD and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, launched the inaugural meeting of the National Local Authority Play and Recreation Network* last Friday in Bewley’s Hotel, Clondalkin. The Network, established by her Department and facilitated by South Dublin County Council, brings together for the first time Local Authority managers and staff responsible for play and recreation services across the country.

Launching the Network, Minister Fitzgerald stated: “As Minister, my message is clear. Whether it is through education or health outcomes, play and recreation is integral to children’s lives. It is essential to children’s development at all ages. This Network is about collaboration, both locally here in Clondalkin and Lucan and nationally, in order to make play & recreation a national priority.

“Our objective is to ensure that all children and young people have the opportunity to access play and recreation facilities across Clondalkin and Lucan. While the provision of playgrounds and other community facilities is an important part of this, we should not forget that we have parks and green areas such as Corkagh Park and Griffeen Valley. We need to do more to promote these everyday amenities and I look forward to the Network examining innovative schemes to help achieve this” said Fitzgerald.

The launch was also addressed by Senator Eamonn Coghlan who welcomed the establishment of the new Network and spoke of his ‘Points for Life’ initiative aimed at improving physical fitness among Ireland’s children. “It is great to see Senator Coghlan coming up with initiatives to help curb the rise in obesity, especially amongst children. Recent reports have found a worrying trend and as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs I am open to finding the best solution in order to ensure that our children grow up healthy and happy” concluded Fitzgerald.