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01/04/19 New Church Hill Community Park officially opened

Churchill Playground cutting tape

Joe McHugh TD is Minister for Education and Skills with children from 4 local schools Gartan, Glenswilly, Trenta and Stramore at the opening of the new community Play Park at Churchill on Friday last. Photo Clive Wasson


The beautiful village of Church Hill was the centre of attention on Friday afternoon as members of the community gathered with dignatories and other special guests to mark the official opening of their new Church Hill Community Park. 

The Community Park which was opened jointly by Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD and Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Seamus O’Domhnaill, includes a playground, an outdoor gym, a walking trail, a car park and a landscape garden area.

The Park which secured in the region of €300,000 state funding has been developed by Church Hill Community Development Group CLG with support from Donegal Local Community Development Committee, Donegal Local Development CLG, Donegal County Council and the Department of Rural & Community Development under the LEADER Programme and the 2017 Town and Village Renewal Programme.

Speaking at the event Victor Wilkin Chair of the Church Hill Community Development Group CLG explained that the benefits to the community are far reaching. 

“The Park will provide a safe place for children, young people and families to play, it will be a great space for all ages to enjoy physical activity and to meet and socialise and it will also provide an additional attraction to the area for visitors passing through”.


Churchill Playground

Churchilll Playground which was officially launched on last Friday.

Cllr Seamus O’Domhnaill congratulated the community on the development of the Park which he described as something that is not just for the people living in the community today to enjoy but is a wonderful legacy to be enjoyed by the generations to come.


“This Park has already become an important part of the landscape of the community.  It is a mark of the vibrant community spirit that is alive and well in Church Hill, it is a facility that will be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike and it is a credit to everyone that has been involved right from the idea stage to where we are today officially opening this wonderful community facility.”


Speaking at the event Cllr Ciaran Brogan said “you the people of Church Hill should be extremely proud of what you have achieved. This is an outstanding park in one of the most beautiful parts of Donegal. This is a space for people of all ages in the community as well as an excellent facility for visitors to the area. It is a testament to the spirit of Church Hill and the people that live here.”

Minister Joe McHugh said “it is a privilege as a local TD for Donegal and a Government Minister to be able to see how investment in local services makes a difference to people’s lives and to community spirit.  All in all, the Church Hill Community Development Group secured about €300,000 of state funding to bring this project to life.  They made a convincing case for support for a truly worthwhile cause and I am delighted to be able to share in their success.

He added “the new Church Hill Park will help to breathe new life into the village.  It will help sustain a strong feeling of community.  It offers a quality leisure and fitness, safe and fun play for kids and a much-needed social outlet for people of all ages.  And it could not have been done without the voices and action of the men and women in the Church Hill Community Development Group and all the local people who supported them.  What they have done here is inspiring.  They’ve brought people together to drive a hugely positive agenda in a community steeped in heritage and history.


Churchill Playground Little Girl

Illuan McDermott waiting patiently at the opening of the new community Play Park at Churchill on Friday last. Photo Clive Wasson

Chairperson of DLDC Patsy McGonagle said “this new facility can be a testament to a new beginning and vision for future success for the Church Hill Community Development Group as well as the LEADER Programme here in Donegal”.

The Community Park was officially opened on at 3.30pm on Friday 29 March and is an important milestone in the work undertaken by the Church Hill Community Development Group to date but Chair Victor Wilken was keen to point out that this is just the first step of many for the ambitious group. 

“We have secured funding to produce a Village Health Check and Village Renewal Plan which is almost ready for publication. This is an important piece of work bringing together the views and ideas of the local residents into a strategic document that will help with the future planning and development of the village. Church Hill is one of seven villages in Donegal designated for Rural Regeneration, so this plan will become an important guiding publication for the group going forward. The Community Park is hopefully the first step in seeing the main village area recognised as the rural service centre for the wider community that surrounds it”.

He added “other plans may include a Community Centre, more footpaths and trails, enhanced street-scape projects to improve the heritage feel of the village and links to tourism development in the nearby National Park”.

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