Una Mullally: Phoenix Park travesty is a litmus test for the Greens
If they roll over on decision to allow traffic to return, FG and FF will have their measure
Phoenix Park after being reopened to traffic. Photograph: Alan Betson
So what on earth was the rationale for this one? After months of discussion, petitions, thoughtful consideration by the Office of Public Works, appeasements and compromises, one man took all or none of that on board and decided, “nah”. Limerick TD and Fine Gael Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW Patrick O’Donovan all of a sudden became remarkably keen on one issue.
The gates and roads of the Phoenix Park, which had been closed bar the main artery of Chesterfield Avenue, would now be open to all traffic, he decreed. This will destroy the ambience of the park, which flourished during lockdown. It will make one of the country’s finest amenities more dangerous to children playing, cyclists and pedestrians. It will negatively impact wildlife, increase noise pollution and disimprove air quality.