A Greenway and a pile of rocks

It was a year ago that the Greenway strategy was launched with planned fund of €53 millions to invest over the course of three years from 2019-2021. It’s a great vision to create green, environmental friendly walk and cycling spaces. One example is a Greenway to lead from Dublin to Galway, coast to coast.  A tiny part of this involves the building of a bridge over the Dodder at Beaver’s Row. A second project at the same location is the strengthening and modernising of the river walls to prevent possible flood damage.

What happened on 11th July left Victoria White from Dodder Action furious. “I was there with some business associates at lunch break to enjoy the natural beauty spot. Up comes this truck and is turfing out loads of rocks. At the very least they should have placed sandbags down there first to protect river, wildlife, removed and resettle the fish.“ Not to mention other mammal wildlife like otters and badgers and birds you can hear in the canopy above the footpath that currently leads to the natural cascade and weir.  To leave the path in its current form is not an option. The uncontrolled growth of trees and bushes, shrubs needs to be addressed with cutting edge, but not right now when birds are nesting and hatching. 

Richard Good is a resident at Beavers Row and has been engaged with Donnybrook Tidy Towns for years. He has very intimate local knowledge regarding necessities for flood defences and is particular keen on keeping the heritage aspect of the area as intact as possible including the Millrace. Green Party Eamon Ryan got a bit of lecture when he came along to help at the clean up last Saturday 20th July and so did NewsFour. “The archaeologist will have to come first and examine the stretch of wall, it’s medieval probably.  The mill race is part of the industrial heritage, back when the Dodder was an industrial river.“

Eamon Ryan, second from left and Richard Good, centre at the Clean Up, dropped load of stones on the left side (picture by author)

Donnybrook Tidy Towns representatives had a scheduled meeting with a Council official on Monday. “It seems that a condition of the planning that wall to assessed for reuse and buttressing as flood defense is being ignored. It’s simply being walled over with a new wall.“  NewsFour heard from Victoria White afterwards. For Richard Good the news after the Monday meeting is: “It’s still on the investigative stage. They have my submissions, and I really think that it should be feasible to integrate the old medieval section with new wall flood defenses.”

NewsFour will follow up the developments of the Green Way project in the coming months but Beaver’s Row is of just one stretch of the Dodder, the Dodder Action group take their gear along every kilometer, in stages and together, if possible with local tidy towns group.

Last weekend it was the Milltown area: “I’ve been in Milltown today and we spent two hours clear out at that part of the Dodder. People used to treat rivers like dumping ground. I even got three paint pots, unused today.” Said Victoria White on Saturday. “People do the clean ups in their spare time and it’s good to do it in little steps, no more than two hours in one go.” Paint pots, shopping trolleys plus the usual culprits plastic bottles, wrappings and sanitary products that really should not be disposed of into nature banks, rivers, beaches, parks are not free for all spots to get rid of rubbish.

The Dodder Action Group removed some big items at Milltown last Saturday, Victoria White second from right (picture provided by Dodder Action Group)

Soon Dodder Action members will come to the mouth of the river in Ringsend. The riverbank behind St Patrick’s church and O’Rahilly flats will be the centre of attention. You can find Dodder Action Group and Donnybrook Tidy Towns on Facebook to find out when and where the next date is set for pickers, gloves, blue bags and two hours of your time.

By Kathrin Kobus online newsdesk