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Dublin City Council says it can't re-open playgrounds as they're not supervised

DCC Deputy Chief Executive Brendan Kenny said he didn’t think any local authority in the country had supervised playgrounds.

A playground in Johnstown Park, Glasnevin, Dublin.
A playground in Johnstown Park, Glasnevin, Dublin.
Image: RollingNews.ie

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL Deputy Chief Executive Brendan Kenny has said that there are no supervised playgrounds in Dublin city, but he would be working with the government to find a way to open them in Phase Two.

Yesterday, the government announced that playgrounds would re-open as part of Phase Two, which starts from Monday 8 June, as well as summer camps and sports training for children.

But, after this announcement, Dublin City Council said that its playgrounds wouldn’t be re-opening without supervision.

“Dublin City Council doesn’t have any supervised playgrounds in the city, and I don’t think any [local authority] has that,” Kenny told reporters today.

“But obviously the government would like to see playgrounds opened so we’ll be working as closely as possible with them to see how we can do that.”

I’m simply making the point that we don’t have supervised playgrounds at the moment.

Speaking at a press event today, Health Minister Simon Harris said that playgrounds “could re-open” if it’s safe to do so. 

If your playground can’t be successfully supervised or is likely to be a very busy playground and the reopening of it would result in large queues – parents aren’t going to want to queue for two hours for the kids to use the slide for 10 minutes.

But he said that there will be other playgrounds, perhaps in villages and towns, where they’re not that busy and could reopen.

What we need our local authorities to do is to look at the range of outdoor facilities that they have, for families and for children, and to see can they open some of them based on the public health advice.

“Could the playground open based on there being someone there to supervise, on the basis that there would need to be regular cleaning of equipment.

He added: “Local authorities will make different decisions in relation to this, but I will appeal to them all to try to open as many as is safely possible to open. It’s been a ong number of months for families.”

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Yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that Ireland’s roadmap to reopen would be “accelerated”, meaning that there would now be only four phases, instead of five.

For Phase Two, you can:

  • Stay Local: You may travel within your own county, and up to 20km from your home if crossing county boundaries.
  • Meeting other people: You may meet up to six people from outside your household both indoors and outdoors for social gatherings. Organised outdoor exercise, sporting, cultural or social activities of up to 15 people may take place
  • Shops: All retail is reopening. Shop locally, shop safely and support businesses in your community.
  • Work from home: It is more important than ever to work from home where possible.
  • Transport: Walk or cycle if you can. Only use public transport if you absolutely need to. Public transport capacity is limited because of social distancing requirements.

Kenny also said that it was working to re-open libraries, but they weren’t ready yet.

“We would be expecting a lot of people to come into the libraries… but we’re not ready for them to open just yet,” he said, adding that they would be opened on a gradual basis over the next few weeks.

Varadkar said that he hoped that museums and galleries would be able to re-open on 29 June, which is Phase Three. Phase Four will start from 20 July. 

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