After years of lobbying, parents in Feeny no longer face trips to Claudy or Dungiven just so their kids can play in a decent play park.
Now they can enjoy their very own state-of-the-art play park in the village.
Sinn Fein Councillor Tony McCaul said the plan for a new park was initially developed by the former Limavady Borough Council in 2014, but the idea first arose back in 2011.
A proposal to proceed with the legacy project at Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council received the green light from the majority of councillors on the Causeway Coast and Glens Leisure and Development Committee and the move subsequently got the go ahead at a full council meeting last Spring.
Colr. McCaul said council owned a field and following representations, officers consulted with people asking what they wanted.
“People said a play park, followed by things like allotments. After all the consultation with Feeny Community Association, here we are and this is the first phase of the £70,000 play park,” noted Colr. McCaul.
The park is well used and is a hive of activity after school.
Among those who know the value of the park is Joanne Connolly from Feeny.
“It’s great for the community and brilliant for the kids. I’m a registered childminder, so I’ll find it very useful. The last one was pitiful, so thumbs up from the kids and mums,” said Joanne, who added: “It’s definitely a long time in coming. It means kids can come here and they’re safe, and it’s also a good place for parents to socialise.”
Karen Kerlin, project co-ordinator for Feeny Community Association, said: “We’ve been lobbying council for five years and now it’s up and running and it’s great for kids and parents.
“It stops parents travelling to places like Dungiven, Foreglen and Claudy for play park facilities because the one that was here was that bad so, at least, they have something in their own community, it’s now on their own door step.”
Ms Kerlin, on behalf of the community, thanked staff at the former Limavady Borough Council and staff at Causeway Coast & Glens Council, and Colr. Tony McCaul.
Colr. Tony McCaul added:“I think this is a first-class facility provided by the council. In the past, rural areas like this have been neglected, but now we are getting to the point where things like this are happening. The last park was a non park, it really wasn’t up to much. This one is away from houses, there’s no traffic and the kids are safe and that’s so important.”
He added: “I congratulate the Feeny Community Association for all their hard work in improving facilties in the community.
“They’re a pleasure to work with.”