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York Street Playground and Garden Opens


York Street Playground and Garden Opens

A new playground and garden was has been opened in York Street Flat Complex. Yesterday, local children from York Street and St. Enda’s National School, Whitefrair Street, joined the Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh  and Professor Hannah McGee from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) to officially open the playground.

“I congratulate all involved in designing and facilitating this new play amenity in York Street Complex. This is the second of six playground projects whereby Dublin City Council creates and increases play opportunities within an imaginative redesigned space. I hope that all the local children get lots of opportunities to get out and play here and have lots of fun. Tá mé cinnte go mbeidh páistí Shráid Eabhrac ag súgradh le chéile anseo ar feadh i bhfad,” the Lord Mayor said about the new play space that has been designed to encourage a new form of free play, that uses imagination and social interaction, rather than conventional outdoor playground equipment.

Instead, children who use the playground will be able to enjoy the brightly coloured tree house, a giant blackboard, a sandpit, hills and mounds and an oversize picnic table. One of the local residents have done a great deal of planting, creating a tranquil environment where children can play street games and imaginary games.

“It is fantastic to see the finished play area and community garden which, I’m sure, will bring a lot of happiness and pride to the local community, both young and old. The REACH programme at RCSI is committed to developing the education and health of our community and this amenity will no doubt contribute greatly to lifelong participation in recreational activities of our local young people,” Professor Hannah McGee who works just around the corner form the new playground as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at RCSI, said.


York Street is an area with Dublin City Council houses and flat complexes with a real need for safer play areas with open space. The children and the young people who live there were asked to take part in the redevelopment of the York Street playground and consulted with Dublin City Council and the York Street Play Committee to help decide what they wanted from a playground.

Other improvements made to the playground, was a mud kitchen, a slide and communal seating for family activities. The new playground is one of the play areas that form a part of the ‘Outside the Box’ project, to facilitate children in Council housing estates.

Dublin city have nearly 70,000 children under the age of 12, and 181,638 under the age of 18, living in the city. Space for them to relax and enjoy outdoor activities outside of school hours has become a cause for concern and something had to be done about it.  In 2012 the DCC Play Plan was launched with a vision that ‘Dublin will become a child-friendly and playful city where children and young people can enjoy the right  to play’.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs, RCSI and Dublin City Council are funding the ‘Outside the Box’ project which is one of the six themes of the Play Plan. In November, on the 28th , the very first of the playgrounds opened in Bishop Street.

Cllr. Sonya Stapleton and Ger Doyle was at the opening of the playground. The RCSI tweeted, “Great fun today with the local children of York Street and @LordMayorDublin at the opening of a new playground!”


The aim of this project is to

Increase children and young people’s daily access to challenging outdoor physical active play opportunities by increasing the variety of play experiences currently available.

Provide more inclusive and accessible opportunities for play and encourage children and young people’s integration through play.

Provide spaces where children can engage in self directed free play which greatly enhances their social. Emotional development, improves resilience and supports freedom of choice, decision making and independent mobility.

Provide children and young people  with enriched and varied play experiences which build on their ability to assess and take risks, develop resilience etc.

Provide a space that can be shared by and address the needs of the wider community which creates a sense of belonging and enables children and young people to be active citizens in their local communities whilst also increasing adults awareness and understanding of children’s play.

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