Investment needed to create suitable places where children can play safely.

A growing litigious society has been seen as a reason for the decline in the number of playgrounds for children.

The lack of play facilities is a disappointment for newly returned emigrant Roisín Jacob and her children. She explains that life in Perth, Australia is quite different where it is a formality that every housing estate has a play area for the children. This is not the case in Newbridge County Kildare. Local residents describe the lack of facilities for children in the area.

'Súgradh' is an organisation established to promote play and better facilities in our communities. Richard Webb of Súgradh talks about the problems that the culture of legal claims has created for the development of public play areas.

On a visit to a public play area in Dun Laoghaire Pauline Corcoran explains the importance of this local amenity. The playground is run by the Catholic Youth Service for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Council and is fully supervised. Another good example of local people working with a local authority in the provision of play facilities is the case of Moyross in county Limerick.

The safe secure environment means insurance claims can be avoided.

Paddy Flannery of the Moyross Community Enterprise Centre, says the success behind the playground is that the parents are responsible for their children while they are in the play area.

The Minister for Health and Children Mary Hanafin has said that the government is committed to improving play and recreation facilities for children under the National Children's Strategy.

An RTÉ News broadcast on 8 May 2001. The reporter is Eileen Whelan.