Sunday 15 December 2019

Min Ryan Park delayed as council re-advertises job

An aerial shot showing the site of the Min Ryan Park and its proximity to the new Loreto School. Picture by Skypix
An aerial shot showing the site of the Min Ryan Park and its proximity to the new Loreto School. Picture by Skypix
Min Ryan, from Tomcoole, Taghmon, was active in the Rising and a founder member of Cumann na mBan

Esther Hayden

The Min Ryan Park faces another delay as the tender for the project was re-advertised last week.

In December 2017 Wexford County Council tendered for the work on the 18-acre park with an expected completion date of October 2018 but last week the project was re-advertised.

In 2016 when planning permission was granted for the park it had been anticipated that it would be up and running by Autumn 2017.

After planning permission had been granted the Mulcahy family made a donation of €200,000 towards the cost of the multi million park in honour of Min Ryan who played a key role in the 1916 Rising.

A qualified teacher, Min established the London brand of Cumann na mBan. During the Rising, Min acted as couriers to the GPO garrison and became romantically involved with one of the signatories of the proclamation, Seán McDermott.

In 1919 Min married Richard Mulcahy, who was second-in-command to Thomas Ashe in the defeat of the armed Royal Irish Constabulary at Ashbourne during the Easter Rising.

In September 2017 members of Wexford Borough Municipal District were told that a contractor would be appointed in March but with the re-advertising of the tender it is now expected that construction won't start until the final quarter of this year.

The re-advertised tender which closes on June 26 includes the construction of a new town park with access road, parking, feature playground, and associated site works, at Killeens. However while is the provision for a skate bowl in the future the tender does not include the construction of this in the initial build

The project, according to the tender documents, comprises hard and soft landscape works including; site clearance; existing vegetation management/protection; adjustment of existing site levels and bulk earthworks shaping to form new parkland landscape; vehicular and pedestrian entrances; car parking area; park boundaries and entrances; wetland pond; commemoration garden and provision of a new access road along the northern boundary of the site.

The works will include for the provision and installation of a multi-age, accessible, natural playground with variety of impact absorption surfaces.

The works will include for the supply and installation of park furniture, signage, surface water drainage, and connection to foul sewer, provision of ducting for site lighting and all associated mechanical and electrical services.

Soft landscape works will include existing tree/hedgerow pruning/clearance/thinning/crown lifting, topsoiling, cultivation, seeding/turfing, tree, hedge, shrub, groundcover, bulb and wetland edge planting, meadow management and planting, 3 year full maintenance period.

It is anticipated that the park will be now be open in the third quarter of 2019.

Cllr Davy Hynes, who has been calling for the provision of a skate park in Wexford town for many years, said he was disappointed with both the re-tendering and the lack of a skate park.

'I really don't know why the project is being re-tendered which is going to delay the project but I will be raising it at the next meeting. The lack of a skate park is very disheartening. I was given reassurances that it would form part of the park.

'This issue keeps being kicked down the road. I will be raising this matter again particularly after being told it would be done. I suspect that it's not a priority for a lot of the members but a lot of youngsters were looking forward to getting the skate park.

'At this rate I can't see it ever happening when it's not going to form part of the new park. If that's the case I'd rather they tell that to the people of Wexford instead of feeding them codology.'

Speaking on behalf of Wexford County Council, David Minogue said the project had been re-tendered and re-advertised because the initial tender had been withdrawn.

'The initial tender process yielded only one suitably qualified tenderer, who, as a result of going into administration, has since withdrawn their tender.'

Mr Minogue said that process will cause delays but he said he hoped the park would be open by the end of next year.

'The delays encountered as a result of the necessity to re-tender the project will undoubtedly extend the overall project time. While this is regrettable, it is unavoidable and at this point we anticipate that the project will reach completion in the third quarter of 2019.

'Our Capital Programme 2018 - 2020 makes a provision of just under €4m for this project. We are confident at this time that the re-tender process will not have a negative impact on this provision.'

'The Council has included a number of proposed amenities within the 18 acre park, including the development of a skatepark. The provision of these remains a high priority and each are likely to be the subject of separate and targeted funding applications to enable them to be delivered.'

Wexford People

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