Land attached to Former Garda station in Ashford offers opportunity for site for new playground – John Brady TD

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has said that the grounds attached to the former Ashford Garda Station which Wicklow County Council secured for a community centre, should be examined to see if a new community playground could also be developed there. This would be to replace the loss of local amenities following the closure of Ashford Park and playground.

Brady was instrumental in leading a campaign to have the former Garda Station transferred to Wicklow County Council in order to allow the building to be refurbished and used by the local community as a community centre. Funding for the purchase of the building was subsequently secured by the Council in June 2022, which is now in public ownership

Brady said: “The closure of the former Ashford Park and playground late last year has meant that the community in Ashford have been left without a children’s playground despite an extensive search for an alternative site by Wicklow County Council.The loss of the park and playground represents a loss to the community. It represents the loss of a local focal point, and venue for children’s play.

“I believe that this issue needs to be and can be addressed immediately.

“The site of the former Garda Station in Ashford is now in public ownership. The station had been lying vacant and unused for almost 20 years since it was extensively damaged in a fire in 2003.The purchase of the former Garda Station following my campaign to bring it into public ownership for community use, means that we now have an opportunity to revamp the building into a vibrant and dynamic community center, I believe that the council must also explore the possibility of building a new community playground there too.

It is frustrating that 18months after securing the funding to refurbish the old Garda Station a masterplan for the site still hasn’t been completed, this would allow work to begin on the development of a badly needed community center in Ashford. The masterplan must look at the possibility of including a playground also on the site.The former Garda station, situated in the center of the town, and already in public ownership, offers an opportunity to avail of a ready-made solution to the areas loss.I have been in touch with Wicklow County Council to push this plan forward, and it is my hope that we will see progress in this area from the Council in the near future.” 

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