Liberties residents to continue 10-year fight for a park

Dublin 8 locals will contest decision to cancel planned green area on Bridgefoot Street

Residents and business owners in one of the most deprived and densely populated areas of the State say they will fight a decision to cancel a park that had been promised for more than 10 years.

A park has been planned at a 2½-acre site in the Liberties area of Dublin since the demolition of the Bridgefoot Street flats in 2003.

The Dublin City Council-owned site has been mainly derelict since.

Repeated promises of a park have come to nothing, with the most recent round of consultations suddenly cancelled last month.


Locals now fear the council plans modular housing on the site instead.

They say the area “cannot take any more housing” and needs “to breathe”.

With a population density of 18,000 per sq km and clusters of extreme disadvantage, the area is acknowledged in the council’s 2014 “greening strategy” as “extremely deficient in quality green space”.

There is 0.7sq m of green space per resident in this area, compared with 15sq m per resident in Dublin 4 and 6.

A council-supported seminar this week heard proximity to greenery in urban settings was important for emotional wellbeing and children’s development.

"We badly need an open space in the area," said Zoe Obeimhen, who lives in the nearby Oliver Bond flats with her husband and four children aged seven, five, three and nine months.

"There are no parks that you can easily get to. There's the Phoenix Park, but it's through busy roads and you have to drive.

“There is a small playground in the flats but it’s overcrowded. Children are bumping into each other and it causes tension.”

Site history

Following demolition of the flats, a public-private partnership promised 200 apartments, with a green area.

This fell through in 2008 and a local group ran a community garden there for a time.

The site was earmarked in the 2009 Liberties Local Area Plan for a “significant new park”.

A Dublin City Council spokesman confirmed the planned park had been “deferred” because it needs to give “further consideration” to the future development of the site.

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland is Social Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times