Public and Private Sectors Combine to Build New Play Park for Ballyfermot

Project sets the standard for philanthropic collaboration

The Matheson Foundation, in partnership with Dublin City Council and the Irish Architecture Foundation, is to fund a project to design and build a new Play Park in Ballyfermot.  The Play Park will combine a play area and skate /BMX park, delivered through a process of high quality public engagement.

The concept of a Play Park originated from discussions between the Matheson Foundation and the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF). This aligns with the Matheson Foundation’s objectives of helping children in Ireland fulfil their potential and promoting corporate philanthropy in Ireland, and the IAF’s aims to utilise its skills and expertise to create community led design projects in the public realm.

The IAF, working with Dublin City Council, will employ a ‘People First’ process to encourage the community to engage with the development of the park. This ‘People First’ process aims to ensure a greater sense of ownership in order to meet the needs of the young people of Ballyfermot. It is hoped the consultation process will be completed by January 2015 and the construction of the Play Park will go out to tender in March 2016. The project will be fully realised by December 2016.

Commenting on the launch of this project, Turlough Galvin, Chairperson of the Matheson Foundation, said: “The development of the Play Park in Ballyfermot will give the local children a safe and stimulating environment in which to grow and play together. We are pleased to be involved in this project which brings together a unique partnership in The Matheson Foundation, the Irish Architecture Foundation and Dublin City Council. We hope this will encourage other Irish organisations to embark on similar philanthropic activities.”

Leslie Moore, City Parks Superintendent at Dublin City Council, said: “The Matheson Foundation is setting a standard for philanthropic contribution to play infrastructure which is so important for children, families and community development.  Dublin City Council is delighted to be a partner in this exciting new collaboration”.

Nathalie Weadick, Director of the Irish Architecture Foundation, said:  “We had been looking for a project that combined the IAF’s experience in delivering high-end architecture projects in the community with The Matheson Foundation’s philanthropic remit. When Dublin City Council came on board and suggested Ballyfermot as the location everything fell into place quite quickly.”

For further information contact:

Dublin City Council Media Relations Office T. (01) 222 2170,

Dairne O’Sullivan or 087 680 1443 /

Notes to the Editor
Irish Architecture Foundation

The Irish Architecture Foundation is a vibrant and passionate not-for-profit with a core mission of communicating architecture to the public. The IAF has situated architecture firmly within the cultural context, popularised it through the annual Open House Dublin festival, inspired young minds through our education programme and developed the international profile for Irish Architecture.

The Matheson Foundation
The Matheson Foundation has two clear goals: to help children in Ireland to fulfil their potential; and to encourage corporate philanthropy in Ireland. Established in 2006, the Matheson Foundation continues to foster a spirit of developing talent and achievement in Ireland, so that every Irish child – whatever their background – is assisted in achieving their full potential. To this end, the Matheson Foundation works with a number of organisations focused on helping Irish children. These range from charities that provide protection and physical and mental care for children, to those that advocate for children, to organisations that help to educate children to achieve their full potential.