Gates at Dublin’s Phoenix Park to close over weekends

Closure 11pm Friday, reopen 7am Monday for duration of coronavirus Level 5 restrictions

The OPW said it has received a request from the Garda to close side gates for the next five weekends, in support of restraints which prohibit non-essential travel beyond 5km. File photograph: PA

The OPW said it has received a request from the Garda to close side gates for the next five weekends, in support of restraints which prohibit non-essential travel beyond 5km. File photograph: PA

 

The perimeter gates of Dublin’s Phoenix Park will be shut for the remainder of Level 5 coronavirus restrictions but only at weekends, according to the Office of Public Works (OPW).

Last March, following a Garda request, the OPW closed the park gates to traffic on a full-time basis, with the exception of the Castleknock and Parkgate Street entrances, to encourage compliance with the 2km travel restrictions.

Both gates remained open to allow the continued use of Chesterfield Avenue as a through-road and to maintain access for park residences, such as Áras an Uachtaráin and the US ambassador’s residence, as well as Garda Headquarters.

The OPW reopened the gates in July, on the orders of the newly appointed Minister of State for the OPW Patrick O’Donovan, who highlighted the inconvenience to commuters of the peripheral gate closures.

The OPW said it has now received a new request from the Garda to close side gates for the next five weekends, in support of the restrictions which prohibit non-essential travel beyond 5km.

“In effect, the gates will close as normal at 11pm on Fridays and reopen at 7am on the Mondays for the duration of the Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions. The decision is made in the interest of public safety for users of the Phoenix Park and will be monitored by An Garda Síochána and the OPW,” said the Office of Public Works.

Disorderly scenes

There were chaotic scenes in the park during the recent bank holiday weekend, with large numbers of motorists parking on footpaths and on the grass, which is banned under the park’s bylaws.

The gates which will be shut on Saturdays and Sundays are those at Ashtown, Cabra, North Circular Road, Islandbridge, Chapelizodand Knockmaroon.

Pedestrian and cycle access will be maintained at all gates, and vehicular access will be maintained through Castleknock and Parkgate Street entrances over each of the weekends.

“The Office of Public Works encourages all visitors to the Phoenix Park to comply with the 5km travel restrictions, to choose sustainable transport to the park, to park responsibly and to respect fellow users of the park by maintaining social distancing,” it said.