|Abha Bhán Park, located in Loughill village on the south shore of the Shannon Estuary, is a high quality amenity area for local communities and tourists. The village suffered from emigration and loss of shops and services over the period of the recession. The completion of this project creates a new centre piece or focal point for the village, serving the whole community and all age groups.
The project was officially opened in April 2019 and was funded via Town and Village Renewal Scheme, LEADER funding and local community funding. It was driven by the Abha Bhán Parish Community Group, whose membership includes local residents, local business people and other community groups in the Loughill/Ballyhahill and surrounding area.
Developed on a greenfield site, the Park is situated on the Shannon Estuary Way/Wild Atlantic Way, on the N69, running adjacent to the Abha Bhán (White River).
The Park was purpose-built. Designed to be suitable for all ages and fully accessible, it includes a wheelchair usable trampoline and a carefully-built sensory garden. This means no child or adult is excluded. The park includes a playground made from natural materials (natural grass surfaces), a floodlit astro-turf pitch and outer walking/running tarmac path. The space is carefully planned including benches and seated areas suitable for picnics, all located on the 2.5 acre site, surrounded by natural trees, shrubs and wild flower meadow making it a haven for biodiversity.
A carpark is integrated into the site with over 20 parking spaces and, as it is fully fenced-off from the main road and river, it is a secure and safe place.
The Park is visible to passing traffic on the N69/Wild Atlantic Way. The quality of the facility is encouraging tourists to stop and dwell in the area, adding to the tourism product base in the Shannon Estuary area of west Limerick.
Before: View of works from the Abha Bhán River
After: Abha Bhán Park, fully developed