For many years visitors to Donegal Town will have noticed large groups of young people whizzing back and forward across the Diamond doing spectacular moves on their skateboards.
This dedicated group have been campaigning without success for years to have their own skateboard park where they would not be inconveniencing other members of the public and have the opportunity to enjoy their sport in a safe environment.
The determination of the group has finally paid off and the spokesperson for the group, Rory Breslin from Donegal Town told the Donegal Democrat that they would be finally opening the first indoor park in the county within the next month.
This newspaper met with the group of skaters as the mounted their 24 -hour skatathon on the Diamond in Donegal Town last weekend to raise funds for their new venture which will be located in the Drumrooske Business Park.
Rory said, “The biggest stumbling block has been the insurance cover when you are operating in a public place and realistically we cannot expect the Co. Council to be footing the bill.
“Over the last number of months we have been building our own ramps and have now finally secured a suitable premises at Drumrooske which will be insured and we hope to open it within the month.
“It is an exceptionally popular sport worldwide and like another board sport, surfing - once you get into it you are hooked. You wake up in the morning and just think about the next move you can master on the board.
“It also offers and alternative to the pub culture which many of our age group just get sucked into.
“We will miss the Diamond - everybody has been great to us: the authorities and the general public. It created a very cosmopolitan atmosphere - many of the visitors to the town would come along take photographs and even get involved.
“I’m sure when the sun returns again we will be back and forward.
“This will be the first indoor skate boarding park in the county and we are expecting great support from the many skaters throughout the county.”
Welcoming the initiative, Jim Mc Laughlin, Chairperson of the Donegal Family Resource Group said, “This is an excellent achievement to have finally developed an indoor skateboard park in Donegal Town.
“The creation of any community facilities within the locality is a great boost and the arrival of this indoor skateboard park highlights the motivation, commitment and ingenuity of the young people involved.
“The skateboarders of the town are an immense credit to the area, they have worked tirelessly over many years to achieve a skateboard park and now they have created an indoor space which will prove a huge benefit to the local youth.
“They have proven that great things can be achieved through consistency and hard-work. High praise must be given to all the youth involved because this great new facility has been achieved through their own initiative and outside the confines of public funding bodies”.