People's Park (Waterford)
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The People's Park is the largest public park in Waterford city. Laid out over a century ago, its 6.6 hectares (16.3 acres) comprise the foremost public green space in the city. It is located at the junction of the Park Road and William Street. The current site of the People's Park was originally a marshland which John's River ran through, however in 1857 the river was diverted and the marshland drained to make way for the construction of the park.
The park contains a Victorian-era bandstand, the Goff cycle track, a children's playground, a spherical monument and water feature and an old painted iron bridge connecting the park to the grounds of the Court House. The park has been renovated and upgraded in recent years. The old caretaker's house has been carefully renovated and a small extension has been added with a cafe called the Park Lodge now occupying the structure. A baby playground area has also been built. On 12 July 2006, €1 million funding was announced to continue refurbishment. Perhaps the most important element of the aforementioned refurbishment is the inclusion of a skateboarding park.
In May 2011, there was outcry amongst the community as the Victorian bandstand was attacked by vandals who, under cover of darkness, pulled down and shattered much of the ornate wrought iron railings surrounding it. The morning after the incident Gardaí arrested several youths in the vicinity of the park, which had been partially strewn with empty beer cans. It was alleged that pupils from a school in the area, who had engaged in a prolonged drinking binge, may have been responsible for the damage. The damage was promptly repaired by the engineering department of the City Council.
- Power, Dermot (1996), "A history of the People's Park", Decies, 52: 113–144.
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