Labour TD, Alan Kelly, has today secured the reopening of sporting facilities to the public at the Templemore Garda College. In a statement issued this morning, Kelly welcomed the news following representations made at the Public Accounts Committee and other forums. The statement reads as follows:
“Following discussions with Garda authorities, I can confirm that the sporting facilities that were enjoyed by the community in Templemore will be reopened over the coming weeks and months.
The community of Templemore and surrounds enjoyed access to the multiple playing pitches and the swimming pool in Templemore for generations until recently.
At the Public Accounts Committee meetings on May 4th and also on May 31st I raised this issue with the representatives of Gardai Siochana Management.
As a consequence of this and following on from other follow up discussions, I have received confirmation that the facilities will be reopened to the public.
The Facilities will be licensed by the OPW to the Garda Siochana who will in turn look after the day to day management of the facilities and interaction with the local community in Templemore and surrounds.
The Gardai are committed to putting in place a formal system to allow community access to the facilities. They expect this to take some time so they are now going to out in place interim arrangements while the formal process is concluded.
This will involve giving access to the playing fields in the coming weeks and access to the pool by approximately September.
There will be a process put in place where local GAA, Soccer and other clubs can apply to the Garda College for access to the fields. This should be a pretty basic process.
The Gardai have asked for local help when it comes to opening the pool and if that manifests itself sooner rather than later, they will open the pool quicker. In particular they are looking for community help in operating life guard facilities.
There will be meetings between the Gardai and the Templemore Sports Forum which represents local sports clubs in the coming weeks to close off these arrangements. In the meantime, I have communicated these new arrangements with the sports forum and I’m delighted I was able to help deal with this issue on behalf of the community.”