New music and sports facilities at two schools in Ballymun were formally opened today by President Mary McAllese and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The Music Room at St Joseph’s School and the BRL Umbro Sports Arena at Trinity Comprehensive School are the latest projects built by Ballymun Regeneration Ltd, the Dublin City Council company set up in 1997 to plan and implement a regeneration programme which will result in a new town with new and improved facilities for the 30,000 people who will live there.
The Music Room is a dedicated practice and performance space for the children of the Ballymun Music Programme, and will be open to community groups and local societies.
It is built to a very high acoustic standard with a sprung timber dance floor suitable for both St Joseph's Wind Band and dance, martial arts, and aerobics. The Ballymun Music Programme is an initiative of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) Community Links Programme.
The programme involves children from seven primary and secondary schools in the area and runs two junior wind bands, a junior string orchestra and a number of choirs.
Children from the programme performed A New Day for the President and the Archbishop. Written by Ballymun teenagers, Daire Ní Bhroin, Darren Scully and John Wrafter, along with composer, Daragh O'Toole, it was inspired by the optimism of the young people in Ballymun today.
The BRL Umbro Sports Arena was built by Ballymun Regeneration in recognition of the need for an all-weather sports facility that would provide a positive outlet for young people in the area.
It was built in collaboration with Sports Across Ireland and a American community sports foundation, Oregon USA.
"The opening today of the Music Room and the BRL Umbro Sports Arena that will make Ballymun one of the top destinations for the FAI's 5-a-side indoor soccer tournaments confirms that Ballymun is growing and prospering,” said Ciarán Murray, Managing Director of Ballymun Regeneration Ltd.
"The two Ballymun schools where the new facilities were open today have just recently joined the Amawale project, that twins them with South African schools and gives them opportunities to connect with each other, to learn about their similarities and differences and to create new friendships," says Ronan King, Chairman of Ballymun Regeneration Ltd.