Kentstown Village Park Family Fun Day 

Christine O’Mahony

Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Kentstown Village Park CLG, Paschal Marry, decided to celebrate by hosting a Family Fun Day at the park.

June 5th 2022 marked the official opening of Kentstown Village Park. 

Marry noted that the opening of this park was a dream himself and others had 12 years ago and that the “day has finally come”. It all started when Meath County Council gave planning permission for the group to take over a dumping ground. 

Kentstown Village Park is located near Kentstown Church with facilities for all ages. While the park has been open since 2021, the official opening day had to be postponed due to lockdown restrictions. At the Family Fun Day, the entrance was unmissable as it was decorated with colourful balloons and stewards awaited visitors. There were many marquees with different activities inside, such as: arts and craft sessions, art and poetry competitions, face painting by the 21st Meath Scouts and flower arranging demonstrations. As well as this, the 21st Meath Scouts organised a scavenger hunt in an attempt to teach the children beginner orienteering.

There was also a dog competition with two prizes for the best handler and two prizes for the best dog. The local Garda arrived and entertained the children by letting them try on the official Garda uniform and beep the horn of the Garda car. Later on in the day, the Kentstown Accordion Band arrived to entertain all the families before the official opening speech. 

There were many politicians present such as Deputy Darren O’Rourke, Cllr Suzanne Jamal (who is on the Kentstown Village Park Committee), Cllr Sean Drew and Cllr Amanda Smith. The park also welcomed a couple Ukrainian Refugee families as their special guests, who are residing in Balrath. 

During his speech, Marry mentioned that the project to open the park began in May 2010 in the old school. A committee was elected that night and Marry promised them that they would “remain as anonymous as possible but one day publicly [he] would recognise their hard work”, he revealed today was that day. 

Former member, the late Phil Tully was remembered during the speech and Marry revealed that as part of their future landscaping plan, they will plant a tree in her memory in the near future. A minutes silence was held in memory of Tully. 

The Kentstown Village Park was officially opened by Aidan Lawlor. Marry remarked that Lawlor “epitomises the very essence of personal generosity and is the perfect representative of the committee as a whole”. A plaque was then revealed to the crowd after it was blessed by the local priest. 

Lastly, Sean Drew spoke to the crowd and praised the volunteers, he suggested that people should put their name down to volunteer in general, if they find they have nothing to do, as volunteers are “valuable” to the community, as evident with Kentstown Village Park. 

The event finished up with tea/coffee, sandwiches, cake and chit chats in one of the marquees.  

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