My Phoenix Park: Share your ideas with us

Plans are being drawn up for changes to the park: we want to hear from readers

Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin.

Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin.

 

It is Dublin’s lung, its beating heart; its most treasured space. Each year, Dubliners spend millions of hours inside its walls. It is the Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed public park in any European capital city.

Once a Royal hunting park in the 17th century, Phoenix Park was open to the public in 1747. Today, it is home to the Zoological Gardens, Áras an Uachtaráin, and Victorian flower gardens. Fallow deer roam freely on grounds where they can trace their ancestors back hundreds of years, surrounded today by joggers, walkers and cyclists and the others who treasure it daily.

Now, Dublin’s Phoenix Park is facing its most significant change in decades, with plans to attract more visitors and improve access. The OPW is proposing to create five districts in the park, each with their own focus and with a series of new additions, including a funicular, a driverless shuttle-bus, and a train station. And it wants your opinion by May 31st.

Two “welcome pavilions” are proposed for the Parkgate Street entrance to welcome visitors that “may also glow in the evenings, as lanterns, to summon people, perhaps out of an autumn drizzle”, in the words of the OPW.

My Phoenix Park: Share your stories and views on the new plans

The main visitor centre would be at the Ashtown Demesne, with the current cafe upgraded to children’s education centre. Extra facilities would be provided, including the possibility of extra car parking.

The entrance to Dublin Zoo could be expanded, along with the nearby tea-rooms and band-stand. A train station on the underground Phoenix Park rail line which runs from Heuston Station could also be located to the east of the zoo. And the proposed changes go on.

So what do you think? We want to hear about your relationship with the Phoenix Park. What does it mean to you now? What part has it played in your life, and in your family’s?

What changes do you want? Most importantly, what do you not want to happen?

Share your stories, your pictures, your videos about Dublin’s favourite, most vital acres using the form above. (If you are reading this on the Irish Times app the form can be accessed here)

A selection of responses may be published in The Irish Times, and/or collated as part of a submission to the OPW.

Thank you.