A SMALL Cork community has rallied together to give its locals a new amenity for children and adults alike to enjoy.
Rylane has never had a community park and children in the village have always travelled elsewhere to take part in various sports.
Rylane National School children didn’t have a pitch to use for their Sciath Na Scoil or other games and had to travel to Coachford for their home games.
The road through Rylane village is used by a high volume of traffic every day, making it dangerous for anyone walking as there is no footpath for pedestrians.
People in the community discussed ways to resolve the issues and eventually a meeting was called in May 2016 and Rylane Community Park Association was formed.
The aim of this new group was to source a piece of ground close to the village and turn it into a Community Park.
The newly formed committee of 19 from all backgrounds and ages, some local and some who are new to the Rylane area, undertook the fundraising challenge and a raffle was organised and €20,000 was raised.
With this money, the committee secured a loan of €70,000 and a 4.5 acre field in Rylane village was purchased.
Many fundraising events were held to repay the loan, including choral evenings, darts tournaments, family fun runs, soccer matches, and fun days.
In July 2017, a weekly lotto draw was started and is the main source of income today.
A spokesperson for the Rylane Community Park Association told The Echo:
“Every house in Rylane was surveyed to see what they would like included in the Community Park.
“Following analysis of the surveys returned it was established that the community wanted a playground, walkways and seating, picnic benches, a playing pitch, an outdoor ball court and a multi-purpose building with meeting rooms, changing rooms and space for community gatherings.
“From this list plans were drawn and submitted to Cork County Council for approval.
“Planning was granted in February 2020. This was a huge achievement for all involved,” the spokesperson said.
Over €143,000 has been raised since the first fundraising first raffle took place but Covid-19 put a stop to fundraising efforts and fundraising events for the remainder of the year have been cancelled.
“We are very grateful to the community of Rylane and surrounding areas as well as the business community who continually support us.
“Community spirit is alive in our village and we are encouraged by this. It has been challenging to get to this point but we now have progress,” the spokesperson said.
Rylane Community Park is currently under construction thanks to the hard work and dedication of the village’s community.