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Superb effort sees James Reel Play Park plans lodged 10 months after tragic loss

James was a popular and much-loved figure in the area and his family - with the help of the local community and Silverbridge GFC - kick-started a fundraising campaign for this woodland-themed play park to keep his memory alive

James Reel Silverbridge

A tremendous community spirit and a family’s determination have seen proposals now drawn up for the construction of the new James Reel Play Park in Silverbridge.

The plans for the exciting development – named in memory of dad-of-two James, who tragically passed away in April last year – come after months of hard work and fundraising.

James was a popular and much-loved figure in the area and his family – with the help of the local community and Silverbridge GFC – wanted to ensure his memory and name live on.

Among the many events staged to try and raise the money to install the park – adjacent to the pitch at Silverbridge – was a pre-Christmas ‘friendly’ GAA match between Armagh and current All-Ireland champions and rivals Tyrone.

All connected with the #Time2Play fundraising have been thrilled with the support.

And now formal proposals for the new park have been submitted to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council for consideration.

The site is described currently as an “existing storage/amenity area”.

The enclosed park, if given the go-ahead, would run adjacent to the main pitch and have a woodland theme.

Among the features planned are Viking swing with both flat and cradle seats, a wheelchair-accessible swirl roundabout, a mini-basket swing, a cockerel three-way springer, a bongos musical play panel, two tactile mini beasts panels, a multi-play unit featuring treetop towers, a Sam Snail ‘springy’, a ‘coming or going’ crazy mirror, topsy turvy crazy mirror and roly poly crazy mirror.

The wetpour safety surfacing would also incorporate woodland-themed graphic inlays and games.

There would be seating and litter bin provision too, with the overall park enclosed behind a 1.2 metre high green bow top fence.

A new retaining wall would also be constructed which would allow for commemorative plaques to be erected.

It has been a tremendous drive to get to this stage and all credit must go to James’ family, friends, club, neighbours and local community for bringing this project thus far.

The proposals are now with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and will be publicly advertised shortly.

A decision in relation to planning consent would be expected within the next number of months.

Meanwhile, Silverbridge GFC has submitted a second planning application as it is also hoping to construct an extension to its existing resource centre building at New Road.

This would allow for the development of a new gymnasium, as well as a dining room, stores and toilets.

It would result in the current centre increasing in floorspace by over 5,000 sq ft, as the new development would bring the total to close to 24,500 sq ft.

These plans too will be advertised shortly.

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