Innovative plan for Killybegs’ children blends art and play

logo_riaiArchitects from around the country will be invited to submit proposals for a new playground for Killybegs, in an innovative approach to playground planning that will combine elements of play and public art, as well as consultation with local children. The competition will open in September and the winning architect and idea will be presented to the county council in March 2011. The Play Space, as the project is called, is expected to open to the public in August of 2011.

The Public Art Office of Donegal County Council, in partnership with Killybegs Playground Committee, the Irish Architecture Foundation and the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland are involved in the project. The project is the first of its kind in the country, said independent Cllr. Thomas Pringle, chairperson of Killybegs Playground Committee.

“We’ve been trying to get a playground since 1999,” Cllr. Pringle said.The project was ready to go to tender about 18 months ago, but at about that time the economic downturn was leading to the collapse of the development contribution scheme, which had been used to fund playgrounds. It was in speaking with Terre Duffy, public art manager with Donegal County Council, Cllr. Pringle said, that they came up with the idea of looking at the playground as a public art project as well as a special play space.