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*Leon Ryan. 

€10,000 was raised in the space of three hours which has effectively saved Scariff’s playground.

Kasia Kierznikiewicz and her son Leon Ryan led the campaign to raise funds for the playground at Riverside Park which had broken swings and a see-saw with rotting timber.

A cake sale, bucket collection, raffle and art competition were all held on Saturday with locals rowing in behind the campaign to ensure the buckets were full and €10,000 was secured to preserve the future of the community facility. Local donations including €300 from McNamara’s Bar and Bistro were also recorded.

Two weeks of preparation were cited by Kasia when speaking to The Clare Echo as reasons for the success. This campaigning included an appearance on The Saturday Chronicle on Scariff Bay Community Radio which saw six year old Leon become the station’s youngest ever guest.

Living in an apartment in Scariff, the family of four have had to rely on the playground in Riverside Park throughout the pandemic as they have no back garden of their own. “It was very tough living in a small apartment during the lockdown,” Kasia admitted.

“Myself and the kids were using the playground, unfortunately we’ve no back garden. When the inspectors closed off the swing and see-saw, it was very hard to tell the children not to use the playground,” she said.

After doing some research, Kasia discovered that €6,000 would be needed to bring the playground to a suitable standard. She then asked Scariff Community Council for permission to raise the funds, many of her close network including her partner said she was “crazy” to think it was possible to bring in such an amount of money.

That said, she paid tribute to everyone involved for making their efforts a resounding success. “It shows how good the community is, everybody got involved. If I didn’t have the people behind me, it wouldn’t have happened. They did it for their kids, their grand-kids, nieces and nephews”.

When it was put to Kasia that she was responsible for saving the Scariff playground, she responded, “the Scariff people are responsible for saving the playground. The people of Scariff are amazing”.

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