Calls for play park in Coolessan

Sinn Fein Assembly candidates Caoimhe Archibald and Cathal O'hOisin at the public meeting in Limavady on Wednesday.

Sinn Fein Assembly candidates Caoimhe Archibald and Cathal O'hOisin at the public meeting in Limavady on Wednesday.

A lack of play parks, footpaths littered with dog mess and flags left flying in tatters were just some of the issues highlighted by concerned residents at a community meeting in Limavady this week.

Held in the Glens on Wednesday night, the public meeting was hosted by Sinn Fein Assembly candidates Cathal O’hOisin and Caoimhe Archibald.

During the hour-long meeting, attended by a small number of residents and community representatives, several issues were raised. Among them was the need for a play park for children living in the Coolessan estate.

“The nearest play park for children in Coolessan is three quarters of a mile away,” said one resident. “If they want to cross over to the Glens, they have to contend with a busy road. There is nowhere safe for them to play.”

Cathal O’hOisin said there may be scope for such a facility given an ongoing development in the location. He pledged to look into the matter to see what he could do.

Another woman suggested getting a set of traffic lights installed on the upper end of the Ballyquin Road. She said driving in the area at night was scary and claimed gangs of youths throw muck balls and run out in front of cars.

“I know people who hate driving up that road at night. It’s been bad this last while,” said the woman.

The apparent lack of police presence in the area was also highlighted with some residents claiming that, when police are in the area, it seemed to deter anti social actvity.

“The police presence does make a difference, a big difference,” said one woman.

One resident said recent crimes, including the burglary of a home of a pensioner, had increased the fear of crime in the community, especially among older people.

Other issues raised at the meeting included dog dirt left on footpaths in the Coolessan and Glens estates.

Residents asked what could be done to tackle the problem and make sure irresponsible pet owners were caught.

Sinn Fein Colr. Brenda Chivers encouraged people to report pet owners who failed to clean up after their animals.

The issue of flags was also raised. One man said he would engage with those who had erected flags near Josephine Avenue to have them removed. He said he had worked hard with the local Flags Forum in the town to erect a small number of flags on two to three dates during the year.

Both Mr O’hOisin and Ms Archibald pledged to do what they could to help residents on the issues raised.