War of Attrition at Green


The Green at the heart of Sandymount Village continues to be a site of controversy as well as genteel recreation, following the latest alteration by Dublin City Council.

On April 15th at around 11.30am, a digger arrived on site at the Green, the driver having been instructed to remove and level the kidney-shaped flowerbed at the northern aspect of the Green. This is the latest development in an apparently gradual programme of alterations to Sandymount Green by the Council. In October 2013, DCC workers arrived unannounced and cut away the wrought iron gate on the eastern face of the railings that surround the Green.

This was a source of some outrage for many locals, who argued that the antique nature of the railings made them valuable local artefacts, which should be preserved on the grounds of heritage. The justification given for the removal of the gate at the time was one of safety matters: the old, heavy gate was argued to be an encumbrance and an obstacle to the elderly and the disabled, and a potential danger to children.

The reasons for this latest alteration are similarly practical, Dublin City Council Parks Department argue. The flowerbed was difficult to maintain, given the level of use the Green is routinely subject to and the fragility of some of the seasonal flowers.

Representatives of the Tidy Towns Committee noted that they were not consulted in advance of the removal of the flowerbed but, in conversation with NewsFour, Senior Executive Park Superintendent Michael Noonan explained that a meeting with TTC representatives had since occurred and it has been agreed that an action plan for the Green will be drawn up. Additionally, a Grade 1 Conservation Architect will be called in to assess the space, with an eye to possibly declaring it a Historic Park.

As he put it, the Council are “keen to find a balance with the needs of community.”

The flowerbed has since been restored.

By Rúairí Conneely